Why the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge can be the best thing for your IoT or smart product idea

20th Apr 2018
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Applications for the 2018 edition of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge close on 22 April – if you’re a product/hardware or IoT startup, sign up here today.

Since its highly successful first edition in 2015, the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) has been the definitive platform for smart product startups in India year after year. This year, it’s bigger than ever! The Design in India Challenge 2018 will give 15 innovative startups a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to refine their products and take them to the next level.

Aligning itself with Modi Governmnet’s Make in India Initiative, the Design in India Challenge focuses on sectors where impact can be the greatest: Agriculture Technology, Medical Technology, Rural IoT, Payment Terminals, Biometric Devices and Smart Infrastructure.


We gave you 8 reasons why a product/hardware or IoT startup should apply for the programme. If you’re still not convinced, consider a few more:

1. Past winners have experienced impressive growth

Past winners of QDIC include highly successful startups like Carnot TechnologiesUncanny VisioniFuture RoboticsSteradian Semiconductor and Tagbox Solutions, each of whom have spoken about how useful the programme was for them. Ravi Teja, Founder of Ayasta Technologies, (one of the shortlisted companies of QDIC II Cycle II) revealed that the mentorship they received helped accelerate his scale-up journey by going from deploying two to three units per week to 60 units per day.

 “Go with an open mind, Qualcomm will help you with much more things than hardware or tech labs.”
-Rohan, Carnot (QDIC-I Winner)
“Qualcomm helped my team in understanding how to translate our algorithms to an embedded processor and that was important.”
- Gireesh Rajendran, Steradian Semiconductors (QDIC-II Winner)

2. It’s one of India’s biggest platforms to showcase your idea

With the QDIC, you get to give your idea a stage, and also all the support to bring it to life. You get to pitch your idea to some of the biggest experts in the space who have the potential to positively impact your growth, and you also get a certificate of recognition for your achievements!

Shortlisted startups will get to pitch their ideas before a jury comprising world-class experts in the field of IoT and hardware. This includes senior engineering experts from within Qualcomm (both in India and the US) as well as industry bodies in India, including NASSCOM and others. Past finalists have also gotten a chance to interact with relevant government officials and industry leaders, increasing their visibility. In addition, all participants will have an equal opportunity to securing accelerator and/or venture funding during the evaluation process.

3. There’s up to $400,000 worth of prizes

15 shortlisted companies will get a cash prize of up to $10,000 each to further refine their prototypes using the Qualcomm Innovation Lab. These shortlisted companies will then get 9 months of technical and business support and mentoring, as well as access to and expertise from the Qualcomm Innovation Lab. At the grand finale event, the winner will stand to win $100,000 in prize money and two runners-up will stand to win $75,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Qualcomm will also reimburse each startup an amount of $2,500 for a full patent application filing with either the US PTO or India PTO (limited to two patent applications). This will be in respect to the proposal for QDIC and will be done during the incubation phase of the program.

4. You have access to Qualcomm’s state-of-the-art design labs

Successful and innovative product ideas will have access to Qualcomm Innovation Lab which is an Incubation Lab where designing, prototyping and testing can take place under one roof and comes with its own dedicated technical resources.

The Qualcomm Innovation Labs house world-class, state-of-the-art equipment to enable finalists to refine their products, including rapid prototyping. The shortlisted companies will even get different kinds of evaluation kits and development boards, along with the tools to optimize camera, audio, display, etc.

5. Mentorship through a custom program from Anthill Ventures

The selected startups will have the opportunity to benefit immensely from a custom mentorship program from Anthill Ventues, where subject matter experts will offer coaching through monthly interventions in key areas spanning across operations, customers, competition, product, financials, team building and growth and future investments. This will run through the incubation phase and will be offered at no cost.

Apply for the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge today!

There are many more compelling reasons to apply and you will find this and all the information you may need here. You could register for the challenge here. Hurry! Registrations close on April 22nd 2018.

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