IIITH Smart City Living Lab announces winners of the Smart City Startup Challenge

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Smart city living labs at IIITH announced the winner for Smart City Startup Challenge 2021. The challenge attracted 150+ applications from innovative smart city startups across the Water, Waste Management, Health, Energy, Safety and Security sectors in May and June. Out of these, an internal panel selected 70 startups who got a unique opportunity to be listed in the smart city innovation registry. A total of 14 startups were handpicked to pitch in front of the smart city innovation ecosystem leaders. MinionLabs India Private Limited & Vacus Tech Pvt Ltd came out as the winner for the challenge and will be awarded with the equity free grant of 5 lakhs each and an opportunity to do a pilot.

The two winners:

  • Vacus Tech Pvt Ltd: Vacus has US patented technology to make cities/ data centres go towards green approach.  They have developed a sensor that is capable of indoor location & tracking, temperature & humidity measurement, vibration measurement, low-power. Their accurate tracking capabilities are helping their clients to reduce downtime by minimizing the human errors. 
  • MinionLabs India Private Limited: Minion is a hand sized energy auditing device with much easier installations has the ability to analyze this data for valuable actionable insights with non-intrusive energy management solutions. Minion senses each and every appliance, devices and tools turning ON and OFF inside the building and gives you a comprehensive report on predictive analytics and maintenance without burning a hole in your pocket.

Smart city Startup challenge was launched by the Smart city living labs at IIIT Hyderabad in association with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and the national smart city mission. Aligning to the Indian Government’s goal to create 100 smart cities, the challenge aims to bring the private and public sector together with research facilities to work on the challenges of smart cities. The program envisioned to support and scale startups that are building sustainable, inclusive and innovative solutions for smart cities. The Living Lab is also supported by corporate founding partners Silicon Labs and Intel. 

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The one month-long program gave selected startups an opportunity to pitch to Smart city city Technology MNCs, Smart city officials and the winner will get an equity-free grant of 10 Lakhs (5 lakhs each)for further development. Further the challenge has curated over 70 relevant startups who will be listed in a Smart City Startup Directory.  “The Smart City Living Lab is an attempt to discover cutting edge innovations with smart city use cases, that can benefit from research and also the network of partners”, Ramesh Loganathan, Professor- Co-Innovation and Head Research/Innovation Outreach.

The Smart City Living Lab commenced operations in Dec 2020. The Smart Campus setup along with the  data lake for live sensors data is underway. Two roundtable conferences have been organised along with a few Smart City CEOs and other thought leaders. A Water Quality & Quantity measurement challenge was conducted jointly with NIUM in March. And a back-to-campus safety & security technologies challenge is due in September. Startups identified through the challenges will be supported through the Living Lab to improve their products and get access to markets. 

The esteemed smart city innovation leaders in the panel were,Manish Kothari – VP, India, Silicon labs, Prafulla Vedula Agarwal – Executive Director, CBRE Global Workplace Solutions (GWS), Parag Vyas – Managing Director, Panitek Innovations, Rajesh Kumar  – Additional director, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt of India, Rama Devi Lanka – Director, Emerging Technologies | Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Information Technology, Electronics & Communications  Department, Govt of Telangana, Karthik Krishnan – CFO & COO Quantela Inc, Lal Chandran – Co-Founder & CTO, iGrant.io, Vamsi Krishna Kondoju , Officer on Special Duty to Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department, Govt of Telangana, Anand Tandon – Founding Partner, Gryffon Advisors LLP and Advisor to NIUM & HMDA, Srikar Y.V – Director, redBus, Ibibo Group Pvt. Ltd., Ramesh Loganathan – Professor and Head Industry outreach and Coinnovation, Vincent van Noord – Director Europe, European Business and Technology Centre.