Published: 12th May 2021
Passionate about making your city smart? IIITH has just the right challenge for you
They will find you and then they will help other companies or even the Government of Telangana see the potential in you. This is all that IIIT Hyderabad's Smart City Startup Challenge entails for you
The responsibility of building a smart city lies with all of us, but perhaps the best shoulders to carry this responsibility would be entrepreneurs and innovators, don't you think? International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IIITH) seems to agree with us because they, in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Smart Cities Mission, recently launched the Smart City Startup Challenge. Point to note: This is the same institute that set up Smart City Living Labs and Smart City Research Center with support from MeitY, Smart City Mission and Government of Telangana, on campus. We hear that efforts are on to make IIITH a smart campus as well. "Mainly for data because for any kind of automated solution, we need data to be able to validate our models. So for us, it is not so much about automation than it is about collecting data. The controls can come later," says Ramesh Loganathan, Professor Co-Innovation and Head, Research/Innovation Outreach at IIITH. So clearly, the institute takes its smart mission seriously.
The final shortlist of start-ups will be announced on June 11, pitching day will be on June 17 and winners will be announced on June 21
Getting back to the Smart City Startup Challenge, this is a discovery challenge for all the entrepreneurs and innovators out there to take up. Though there is a grant amount of `10 lakh (that too equity-free!) for the winner, we feel the highlight is that you might be selected to pilot your project with the Government of Telangana or pitch it to as many as ten leading smart city companies. If that isn't a golden opportunity, we don't know what is! So start-ups, pull up your socks.
Prof Ramesh Loganathan | (Pic: Ramesh Loganathan)
But the professor urges us that it is not just the start-ups who are directly working on smart city solutions that should be looking at this opportunity. "Even if the solution doesn't target smart cities, but if with small changes it can apply, you are open to apply," declares the professor. He also recognises that usually, start-ups don't target governments because of the procedural requirements involved while pitching to them. Winning the challenge will mean that you can get help with that too.
The focus area of the challenge is water, waste, safety and security, health and energy
In the process of discovering start-ups and scouting for winners, their attempt will also be to understand what start-ups from different sectors are actually doing in this field. Personally, Prof Loganathan sees a lot of possibilities surrounding cameras and sensors alone, whether it comes to crowd management or detection of mishaps. Be sure to apply by June 4 if you are up for this challenge.
For more on this check out smartcityresearch.iiit.ac.in/challenge02.html