Bangalore – March 14, 2023 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced the winners of the seventh edition of Qualcomm® Design in India Challenge, India’s longest-running hardware startup incubation program, launched in collaboration with NASSCOM and Startup India. Out of a pool of 145 applicants, 12 startups were selected to receive incubation support in the areas of technology development, business model, and intellectual property rights (IPR). Out of these shortlisted startups, three startups were selected by a jury of industry leaders as the winner and two runners up of the challenge.
The winner of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2022 and recipient of a cash award of INR 65 Lakhs is TechEagle Innovations Private Limited, who showcased an AI/5G enabled on-demand drone delivery airline aimed at saving and improving lives. The first runner up, receiving a cash award of INR 50 Lakhs, is React Labs Private Limited with their smart, connected, self-cleaning home cooking appliance for Indian homes featuring 10 different cooking functions. Second runner up, winning a cash award of INR 35 Lakhs, is EyeROV (IROV) Technologies Private Limited, an underwater robotics company developing unmanned autonomous surface vehicle to be deployed in dams, rivers, and lakes.
India is among the fastest-growing economies globally and innovation has played a critical role in achieving this status. The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge, established in 2016, was created in alignment with the government’s “Make in India” vision, to encourage innovation and invest in concepts that might expand and enhance the nation’s digital economy. The initiative is a part of Qualcomm’s ecosystem enablement commitment to the Indian startup ecosystem through its larger Design in India Program, which includes initiatives such as Qualcomm® Women Entrepreneur India Network, Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Program and L2Pro India, an e-learning program for building awareness about intellectual property.
In addition to the awards for the top three startups, the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2022 offered the following benefits to all shortlisted startups:
Grants: All shortlisted startups received an initial grant of INR 1.6 lakh at the start of the incubation period. All startups qualified for an additional grant of INR 1.6 lakh each after a mid-cycle review, five months into incubation.
Patent filing incentives: Each shortlisted startup was entitled to receive reimbursements of up to INR 1.6 lakh for up to two full utility patent applications filed with either the US PTO (after filing the same with the India PTO) or India PTO with respect to their proposal submitted towards the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge and during the incubation phase of the challenge. 6 startups claimed this incentive for a total of 9 full patent applications filed by them.
Accelerator services: Accelerator services include diagnostic assessments, and workshops on scaling operations and customers and attracting investments. These services were offered, through a partner, at no cost to the shortlisted start-ups.
Benefits offered by MathWorks®: Through the association with MathWorks, all startups were eligible to receive support from MathWorks in computational modeling and algorithm development.
Engagement opportunities with Government officials: The program offered opportunities for the startups to engage with senior members of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Events Participation: All startups got an opportunity to showcase their products and technologies at Qualcomm Innovation Forum and YourStory TechSparks, held in Bangalore.
Access to Innovation Commercialization Fund: The Qualcomm® Design in India Challenge startups alumni from past editions received access to Qualcomm’s Innovation Commercialization Fund for reimbursing expenses incurred towards taking the product commercial (subject to applicable terms).
Each previous edition of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge has set a high benchmark for the next batch of innovators. So far, the program has incubated 89 deep-tech startups, leading to the launch of 28+ commercial products and 330+ patents protecting the startups’ own inventions in IoT and related technologies. The startups have raised over 235+ Mn USD in total funding, with 12 in Series A and 4 in Series B. Additionally, 7 successful exits have been made through M&As(merger and acquisition). The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2022 has awarded a total of INR 1.9 Crore in cash awards.
Rajen Vagadia, Vice President, Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd. and President of Qualcomm India & SAARC, said, “India has one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world and it is essential that these startups are given the opportunities and the means to explore and unleash their potential. The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge aims to energize the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative potential in our country and provide a platform for some of the most promising hardware technology entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life. Congratulations to this year’s winners. I commend every single participant for the creativity and the zeal they have demonstrated and wish them all the very best for their onward journey.”
Sudeepto Roy, Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Incorporated, said, “India’s top innovators are harnessing 5G, AI/ML and robotics technologies to create world-class inventions, products and services through the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge. I applaud the program team’s consistency in identifying and helping top startups over the past eight years and thank NASSCOM, Startup India, and MathWorks for their collaboration. We look forward to working with the winners to refine their innovations further and complete their journey towards commercialization.”
Qualcomm is now accepting applications for QDIC 2023. Interested startups are encouraged to review the information and apply on Startup India’s portal