Blackfrog Technologies, Detect Technologies and Grinntech Motors and Services win Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2019

The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) was created to encourage design houses and product companies to invent useful and innovative hardware product designs. The three startups were among the 10 startups that were part of 2019-20 cohort.

16th Apr 2020
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Blackfrog Technologies, a startup that is addressing the challenge in the cold-management of vaccines in the last-mile delivery was awarded as the winner of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2019.


The startup has innovated a portable battery-powered temperature-controlled cooling device. The device enables vaccines and even biologicals like blood, tissue, culture to be stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius for eight hours. The startup was awarded prize money of Rs 65 lakh in prize money.


Blackfrog Technologies

Two other startups, Detect Technologies and Grinntech Motors and Services secured the first and second runner-up spots respectively. The runners-up took home Rs 50 lakh and Rs 35 lakh respectively.


Detect Technologies

Detect Technologies was awarded for its R&D efforts in custom developing effective intelligence on the chip and exploring the possibility of leveraging Qualcomm Vision Intelligence platform for Noctua, one of their flagship products. Noctua, is an autonomous unmanned aerial system to acquire visual, thermal, and ultrasonic data from high-rise or hard-to-reach assets. Meanwhile, Grinntech Motors and Services was awarded for building a connected battery pack prototype to address the needs of the electric vehicle sharing economy.


Grinntech Motors and Services

The three startups were among the seven other startups that were part of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2019-20 cohort. From June 2019 to February 2020, ADAPT Ideations, Antariksh Waste Ventures, Arcapsis Techno-solutions, Health Arx (BeatO), Biodesign Innovation Labs, Ubifly Technologies and Elear Solutions, worked with Qualcomm to bring specific improvements to their products as part of QDIC. The startups were awarded INR 6.5 lakh each as initial prize money, access to Qualcomm Innovation Labs, Qualcomm platforms and chipsets, technical mentors, patent-filing support and accelerator services during the programme period. In addition, the startups also got an opportunity to engage in a dialogue and share their concerns with Secretary, DPIIT and Managing Director and CEO, Invest India.


The 2019 edition of the challenge witnessed quite a few entries for smart infrastructure, followed by medical tech, robotics, automotive and machine learning from startups showcasing their innovative products and solutions. Select startups also participated in events like CES, Taipei Startup Fest and India Mobile Congress.


As part of the challenge, a late-stage startup track was introduced which provided mature startups technical support to incorporate Qualcomm Technologies’ tech into their products. The late stage startups included Wickedride Adventure (BOUNCE) Atoll Solutions, Ensemble Tech and Transight Systems. The QDIC team also offered hands-on IP awareness workshops at three MSH recommended centers as part of a Technical collaboration agreement with MeitY.


Since conceiving, funding and incubating its first cohort in 2016, over the years Qualcomm has continued to leverage its three decades of expertise in wireless technology to give back to the ecosystem by nurturing innovative startups in India, and accelerating their product development journey with technology, mentorship and ecosystem support. So far, Qualcomm Design in India Challenge had seen over 1134 startups from India’s growing IoT hardware ecosystem applying for the programme, of which, 53 startups, which includes the QDIC 2019 cohort, have been part of the programme. These startups have developed products and technologies in the areas of robotics and drones, smart-infra, machine learning, wearables, automotive, med-tech, agri-tech and fin-tech. Of the 53, 12 startups have raised series A funding and more than 22 have launched products commercially. Collectively, they have filed over 93 patents.


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Innovations from winner Blackfrog Technologies (left), (bottom right) first runner-up Detect Technologies and (top right) second runner-up Grinntech Motors and Services

Applications are now open for Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2020-21

This year, in addition to the smart infrastructure, biometric devices, medical technology and rural IoT, the challenges also include 5G use cases and applications that use NavIC capability on mobile devices.


In its fifth edition, with this design challenge, Qualcomm continues to spur the domestic hardware ecosystem which will positively impact the product ecosystem of design and enhance the manufacturing facilities in India.

Program Benefits in QDIC 2020

Prize Money: All shortlisted startups will get an initial grant of INR 1.6 lakh at start of incubation period. Three months into the incubation, a mid-cycle review by Qualcomm will be held and those startups that meet the review requirements would be eligible for an additional grant of INR 1.6 lakh. In March 2021, a jury pitching session will be held, and one winner and two runners up will receive INR 65 lakh, INR 50 lakh and INR 35 lakh, respectively.


Patent Filing Incentive: Qualcomm will reimburse each startup an amount of INR 1.6 lakh for a full utility patent application filed with either the US PTO or India PTO in respect of the proposal for QDIC and during the incubation phase of the programme. Limited to two patent applications per startup.


Accelerator Services: Qualcomm, through its partner, will offer accelerator services to all startups at no additional cost, which would include diagnostic assessments, and workshop interventions on scaling parameters like operations, customers, competition, product, financials, org building and seeking investments. Startups are expected to travel for these workshops at their own cost.


Opportunity to be incubated at NASSCOM CoE for IoT: Qualcomm, at its discretion, may recommend up to three startups that will be given 30 seat-months at a NASSCOM CoE for IoT center at no cost to them without having to go through the standard application process.


Government connects: Opportunity to connect with MeitY/DPIIT in person; meet and greet sessions would be scheduled with travel costs covered by Qualcomm.


Participation at industry events: The opportunity for select startups to participate at relevant industry events either hosted by Qualcomm or those where Qualcomm participates. In the past, these have included Qualcomm’s 5G Summit in Hong Kong, India Mobile Congress (IMC) in New Delhi, Meet Taipei Startup Festival and Smart Cities Accelerate in San Diego, etc. Typically, airfare and hotel stay are covered for domestic events and airfare only for international events.


Innovation Commercialization Fund (new): Starting this year, Qualcomm is initiating an Innovation Commercialization Fund (ICF) with an initial fund size of INR 60 lakh for the 2020 program year. ICF is available to all QDIC alumni startups and will be used for reimbursement towards one of more of the expenses incurred towards taking the product commercial – certification cost, costs incurred towards industrial design and manufacturing cost towards fulfilling customer orders.


Apply now.

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