Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2021 finalists announced; interact with Additional Secretary of DPIIT

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Qualcomm has been leading wireless innovation for the past 35 years, with a cutting-edge R&D approach that is fueling breakthrough technologies. The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) is among the many initiatives launched by Qualcomm India to foster innovation. Launched in 2016, the challenge encourages design houses and product companies to invent useful and innovative hardware product designs by incorporating Qualcomm SoCs platforms and technologies.

Over the years, the challenge has incubated 77+ startups that have filed over 200 patents collectively, launched 22+ products commercially and raised over $90 million in capital through various stages of funding. Startups have built smart and connected devices and products in the domains like smart infrastructure, AgriTech , industrial automation, wearables, medical technology and rural IoT. This year, at the sixth edition of the initiative, the challenge invited applications focused on 5G use cases and mobile edge-compute as well.

"At Qualcomm, our philosophy is innovation and we believe it's a prerogative for everyone. While we spend a good part of our revenue to drive innovation across sectors, it's our partners, startups and the ecosystem who take it forward by building solutions by leveraging our innovation," said Rajen Vagadia, VP and President- Qualcomm India & SAARC.
Sudeepto Roy, VP Engineering, Qualcomm Technology Licensing, Qualcomm Inc., added, "For Qualcomm Design in India Challenge, we are looking for startups who use connectivity and compute as their core, would like to build hardware as part of their end-to-end system design and who want to protect their own invention through patenting."

This year, QDIC received 160 applications through outreach partnership with Startup India and AGNIi, and 12 startups were selected into the cohort. At a recent virtual meet and greet organised by Qualcomm India with Mr. Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the participating startups got a chance to talk about the unique problems they are addressing through their products and solutions. Many brought up a particular pain point they wanted the government to address.

The 12 startups selected at QDIC 2021

1. Briota Technologies - Founded by Gajanan Sakhare and Shardul Joshi, Briota Technologies democratises the diagnosis and management of asthma-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and long spells of COVID-19. It has built India's first digital spirometer that allows anyone to effortlessly detect asthma at an early stage.

2. Combat Robotics - Combat Robotics was started by Ganesh Pandit Suryawanshi, Wahab, Yuvaraj, Himanshu, Hadi Purushottam & Amol to make combat-ready unmanned systems for the armed forces. Its spherical robot provides seamless, reliable, remote surveillance in unknown territories to the end tactical user.

3. Dhruva Space - Surapureddy Chaitanya Dora, Sanjay Nekkanti, Abhay Egoor and Krishna Teja P started Dhruva Space as a full-stack space engineering solution that is working in the domain of small satellites and building application-agnostic satellite platforms.

4. Emote Electric - Emote Electric is a smart connected bike platform that makes any conventional two-wheeler smarter. Founded by Pranav Singanapalli and Professor Padmini Balaram, its bikes provide towing/security alerts, engine/battery health, diagnostics and performance insights on your phone.

5. Enlite Research - Enlite Research was founded by Garima Bharadwaj and Gaurav Bali as the world’s first contactless and wireless building management system called BIOS (Building Intelligence Operating System). It makes every building smart and sustainable by enabling standardisation in terms of energy, security, water, etc.

6. M3 Toilet Resources India (Garv Toilets) - At Garv Toilets, Mayank Midha and Megha Midha are designing 100 percent contactless IoT-enabled Smart bio-toilets, with unique and interactive automation features like self-cleaning. It provides real-time feedback on how the toilet functions, thereby reducing human dependency.

7. Myelin Foundry - Founded by Dr Gopichand Katragadda, Ganesh Suryanarayanan and Aditi Olemann, Myelin Foundry is a DeepTech product startup transforming human experiences and industry outcomes by building AI algorithms on video, voice & sensor data, for Edge devices.

8. Neona Embedded Labz - Neona Embedded Labz was started by Anchunath R, Pushpy Muricken and Shijith Mohan, and is a high-performance AI-based smart gateway solution for smart cities. It helps them meet the current big opportunity in smart metering solutions for energy, water, gas, streetlights, etc.

9. Nimble Vision - At Nimble Vision, Chinnayya Math and Vaishali Math have developed the Ni-The Smart Manhole Monitor, a smart IoT solution that makes city manholes work more efficiently by providing analytics on possible overflow, sewage quality and harmful gases present via mobile and web alerts.

10. Ossus Biorenewables - Ossus Biorenewables is a smart-IoT enabled microbial device for on-demand hydrogen gas production. The founders Dr. Suruchi Rao, Shanta Rao and Kamar Suhail Basha help heavy industries mitigate the effect of climate change by capturing the dilute carbon content of their wastewater and converting it to hydrogen gas.

11. Probus Smart Things - Founded by Anand Mohan Singh, Ahmad Raza, Ankit Vaish, Sunny Jadoon and Rahul Mishra, Probus Smart Things is a smart meter communicating over RF Mesh technology to remotely read, bill, and manage a last-mile power distribution grid.

12. Xyma Analytics - Dr. Nishanth Raja, Krishnan Balasubramanian, Prabhu Rajagopal and Aswin Kumar Kathirvel started Xyma Analytics to remotely and continuously monitor non-invasive smart sensors for industrial applications. The sensor can measure multiple parameters and condition monitoring in high temperature and high-hazardous events.

At the virtual meet, Mr. Anil Agarwal, Additional Secretary of DPIIT, spoke about potential innovations in the Indian market, specifically addressed startup problems and shared possible collaborations with the government. He said, "In the last five years, at Startup India, what we've been able to do is build capacities across states and Union Territories to recognise startups and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. Today, we crossed a milestone of 50,000 startups, with 30 states and UTs promoting startups with a policy of their own. This is because of the two-way effort between the government and startups to jointly resolve issues."

The selected startups will get access to a plethora of benefits, including in-depth mentoring workshops, an opportunity to win an incubation grant of up to Rs 3.2 Lakhs, patent filing incentive of up to Rs 3.2 Lakhs, access to an Innovation Commercialization Fund (ICF) of Rs 60 Lakhs and opportunity to win Rs 1.5 Cr in prize money.


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