NXP India Tech Startup Challenge announces Winners for 2021

The winners were selected from 192+ applicants and will be provided with key benefits which include mentoring by industry leaders, finalist access to global tech challenge, access to incubator privileges for a quarter, along with handsome cash prizes, and a lot more.

After a rigorous evaluation of 192+ applicants, an eminent jury panel of India and global industry leaders has selected the winners of the NXP India Tech Startup Challenge 2021. The challenge has a core vision to nurture Indian technology startups by providing them opportunities to connect and collaborate with industry leaders and other ecosystem stakeholders that can support them in their growth journey for global impact.

Evaluation journey for startup applicants

The winners were selected after 1000+ evaluations which were conducted by 60+ evaluators over the course of 1 month with more than 500 hours of evaluation time. The evaluations were conducted in three phases.

Stage 1: Initial filtering stage

In this first stage, the applicants were divided into six key market sectors, namely:

  • Automotive Sector Tech Startups
  • Industrial & IoT Sector Tech Startups
  • Mobile Sector Tech Startups
  • Key Focus Play (Smart City, Smart Home) Tech Startups
  • Communication Infrastructure Sector Tech Startups
  • Other Tech Startups

Each of these sectors was assessed by a set number of evaluation panels assigned to them. Of these startups, the top 30 applicants were shortlisted by their respective evaluation panels.

Stage 2: Pre-Finale stage

In this second stage, the startups were shortlisted unanimously by the panels as part of an intra-panel consensus round. It was encouraging to see the panel consensus discussion to select the finest. At the end of this stage, the Top 10 startups selected from the panel made it to the next stage.

Stage 3: Grand-Finale stage

In this final stage, the Top 10 startups were then evaluated by the eminent jury panel comprising of global technical and business experts. At the pitching session that took place on April 19, the evaluation was divided into two rounds. As part of the first round, each of the 10 finalists gave a virtual pitch and they were evaluated based on innovation and creativity, product-market fit, the product’s readiness and the strength of the team and founders.

In the second round, an intra-panel discussion took place to achieve a consensus on the Winners. With the range of innovation and creativity at display, it was a tough decision for the judges. The jury came to the consensus of selecting the Top 3 Startups as winners and 1 startup was additionally awarded the runner-up title.

The winners were announced at the Grand Finale Event on April 21 which was marked by the presence of esteemed industry leaders: Steve Owen, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, NXP, and Lars Reger, Executive Vice President & CTO, NXP. In addition Young Sohn, Co-Founder, XTC and Ex-President of Samsung Electronics joined us through a special video message. Eminent judges were also present, starting with Muthukrishnan Chinnasamy, CEO, Semiconductor Fabless Accelerator Lab (SFAL), Sanjeev Chopra, CEO, Electropreneur Park- Incubation Center, Sanjeev Keskar, CEO, Arvind Consultancy and Global leaders from NXP - Tobias Helbig, CTO – Innovation Management and Martin Gruber, Strategy Office.

The winners of the challenge are:

  • Thinkerbell Labs, an Educational Technology startup focused on improving the efficiency of Braille learning for the visually impaired to make them employable
  • Grinntech, an Automotive Technology startup focusing on battery pack manufacturing and design, aiming to boost the growth of EVs in India by meeting the demand for smart batteries and reducing imports.
  • Multi Nano Sense, Industrial & IoT Technology startup, that creates miniaturized gas sensor modules using Micro and Nano Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS and NEMS) for sensing almost all kinds of gases to enable awareness of consumer

And the runner-up is Sunfox, a Health Technology startup, which is creating telehealth products to prevent the life-threatening stages in patients at the remotest locations by early monitoring cost-effectively with the most simple devices.

It has been an extraordinary experience hosting the NXP India Tech Startup Challenge. NXP is committed as a global Technology leader to help these startups excel in this journey towards their dreams. I am extremely happy to see the range of innovation and the spirited determination with which startups, and the ecosystem at large, are working tirelessly for the progress of the country. I give my heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the NXP India Tech Startup Challenge. And to all other applicants: There is no such thing as failure, just lessons to be learned on the way. This is just a stepping stone to bigger things. Your conviction and capabilities will take all of you on to the road of growth and success. I would also like to thank all partners and NXP team members for a splendid event and great collaboration.” says Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and India Country Manager, NXP Semiconductors.

The rest of the finalists who made it to the finale are:

  • True Traffik, a communication infrastructure startup dealing in Testing, validating Computer Network Equipment and Computer Networks.
  • Botson Labs, an Industrial & IoT startup aiming at reducing the carbon footprint by improving energy efficiency in SMEs providing end-to-end solutions
  • Agnikul Cosmos, a space tech startup, trying to solve the multiple complex problems related to rocket launch through their product Agniban
  • Lazy Design, an Industrial & IoT startup is looking to redefine everyday tasks with their AINA, an AI-powered smart ring.
  • Zargun Electronics & Science is a new-age product development (embedded & automation) solutions provider that is trying to leverage the power of technology to solve real-world problems like waste management, smart city infrastructure, precision agriculture among others.
  • NOOS Technologies, a mobile startup dealing in Anti-Counterfeit Packaging Security creating solutions to solve the real-world problems of security and safety.

Benefits to Top 10 Finalist and Winners

The Top 10 startups will get the opportunity to push their global visibility and network scalability, among other benefits. They will also receive:

  • Upto 3-month Equity-free Pre-Incubation at Electropreneur Park relevant for embedded system and product design startups. Benefits from Electropreneur Park will include free of charge access to state of the art ESDM Lab test equipment’s to convert the idea to prototype, Mentorship sessions for business plan refinement, technical mentorship and connect to ESDM suppliers, reimbursement of prototyping expenses upto INR 50,000/
  • Upto 4-month Equity-free Cohort period together with SFAL - Semiconductor Fabless Acceleration Lab, especially for those startups who are operating in Semiconductor & IP Design space. Benefits from SFAL during the Cohort period will include Access to In-kind Partner (IKP) assets (worth per startup can be upwards of INR 10L): FPGA Innovation Lab at SFAL and Tools from In-Kind Partners, Access to webinars from SFAL and IKP partners, Guidance on business and investments, etc.

Whereas the top winning startups will receive:

  • A mentorship opportunity from NXP India’s Technical Leadership Experts
  • Prize money of Rs 2 lakh for each of the top 3 winners and Rs 1 lakh for the runner up
  • Access to the XTC Virtual Boot Camp Event and a chance to participate as a finalist in the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) and global winners competition in late spring 2021.


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