Updated: Apr 20, 2023 13:22 IST
Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], April 20 (ANI/Mediawire): thingQbator, a CSR initiative by Cisco in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation, honoured ten winning startups from its 5th cohort. Since its inception in 2018, Cisco and NASSCOM Foundation have collaborated with 28 universities to accelerate student entrepreneurship and foster digital skills through the thingQbator program.
The name “thingQbator” (a combination of ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘Incubator’) was started as an internal incubator to identify and fund IoT ideas originating in Cisco’s engineering community. This virtual makerspace program, held at various partner universities, offers students hands-on experience with digital technologies. It enables them to transform their ideas into working prototypes and devise localized solutions to community problems. Till date the program has skilled over 50,000 students and a subset of these learners have been directed towards the start-up ecosystem, with the intention of shifting their mindset from being job seekers to becoming job creators. This year alone, the program has provided more than 1000 hours of mentoring, resulting in the creation of numerous prototypes, and 16 teams have already been registered as start-ups with the government.
To mark the successful completion of its fourth year, a hybrid ceremony was hosted by NASSCOM Foundation, which was attended by students from three partnering colleges. The event celebrated the ten most successful and promising startup ideas, which were selected through a meticulous shortlisting process from over 100 submissions presented to multiple panels comprising senior executives from Cisco and industry veterans. The event was attended by faculties, technology experts, and startup specialists from different universities.
Amongst the many dignitaries who attended the event were J Innocent Divya, IAS, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation, Harish Krishnan, Managing Director and Chief Policy Officer, Cisco, Vish Iyer, Vice President, Sales, Cisco APJC, Aniket Doegar, Co-Founder and CEO, Haqdarshak, and Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2019 Awaredee, and Kritika M, Senior Director, 10000 Startups, NASSCOM.
On the occasion, Harish Krishnan, Managing Director and Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India said, “It is a special day for us as we celebrate the power of innovation. We started thingQbator as a physical makerspace, and we were able to scale from 18 to 30 universities and we have the potential to scale to even bigger numbers going forward. The unique aspect of the thingQbator is the potential for local transformation, which is essential for India to achieve its digitization-led inclusive growth vision. It is a true testament to Cisco’s purpose of powering an inclusive future for all.”
Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, added, “In an ever-evolving world where change is the only constant, fostering and equipping young innovators with the necessary skills and resources is crucial to stay ahead of the curve. Through mentorship and guidance, the thingQbator program has consistently nurtured and empowered young minds to drive meaningful change. The program has provided students with necessary resources, tools, and hours of mentorship to refine their skills and develop innovative programs for real-world problems.”
The 5th cohort of the thingQbator program received 720 applications for its learning track, from which the top 108 teams were selected for the Product track. During this phase, the teams were provided with mentorship and resources to transform their ideas into functional prototypes. Out of the 108 teams, the top 33 moved to the Startup track, where they received further mentorship and were given the opportunity to present their prototypes to customers or users. The top 15 teams were then assisted in registering their companies, and the best 10 teams were awarded seed funding of 5 Lakhs rupees each through a government-recognized TBI at the end of the Startup track.
The top 10 teams with the best solutions felicitated at the ceremony include:
1. PocketCoach, a sports app from PES University that provides world-class coaching and connects users with national-level tournaments
2. OneSpace, a community app from PES University that connects parents of children on the autism spectrum with leading healthcare professionals
3. Vanadootha, a farmer’s companion from PES University that protects crops from wild animal attacks through their revolutionary IoT device
4. Project Roots, a set of cognitive games from PES University for senior citizens to delay the onset of dementia, with tasks that reinforce memory
5. Swift Ride, a bike pooling app from REVA University that connects students willing to offer and take rides to and from their colleges
6. CAPA (Cure and Prevent Anemia) from PES University, a strong community of people working on the prevention of anemia through delicious recipes and regular online exercise sessions
7. Early Detection of Skin Diseases (or Magic Millions), a team from REVA University that is working on a website that detects any major skin disease with just one photo of the affected area, and provides remedies with healthcare support
8. Grafito, a team from NIT – Calicut that is working on a grafting machine that can mechanically graft plants with minimal error in the process
9. Dhyanam, an app from VIT Vellore that gamifies the old task manager by incentivising users to complete their tasks to unlock apps
10. HEALTHub, a telemedicine kiosk from IGDTUW that diagnoses people from rural areas and dispenses the right medicines, with constant ambulance support
Established in 2001, NASSCOM Foundation has been witness to the transformative power of technology for the last 20 years. Part of the NASSCOM ecosystem, we are the only neutral not-for-profit organization representing the Indian tech Industry. We remain rooted to our core philosophy of TechForGood, where our efforts are focused on unlocking the power of technology by creating access and opportunity for those who need it the most. We work on helping people and institutions transform the way they tackle social and economic challenges through technology. We have three key areas of intervention, Digital Literacy, Skilling and Employability and Women Entrepreneurship.
The thingQbator is a global makerspace community standing for innovation parallel to formal work and education. A mind gym for creating entrepreneurs. It is an open community where every maker goes through a different learning cycle and is supported by Workshops on emerging technologies and entrepreneurship. thingQbator also offers access to courses in hardware on software on its web platform.
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