Got any AR/VR start-up ideas? Then head straight to IIT Bhubaneswar because that just might be the place for you!

IIT Bhubaneswar's open challenge programme is looking for those who have bright ideas in the AR and VR space. This is what it entails
Here's all that you need to know | (Pic: Edexlive)
Here's all that you need to know | (Pic: Edexlive)

In another quest to establish Odisha as the hub of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, IIT Bhubaneswar is hosting an open challenge and seeking AR and VR ideas and start-ups involved in research, development and application activities. Apart from offering mentor support, access to laboratories and a workspace, a seed grant or investment of up to Rs 10 lakh is also up for grabs. "Over the last three years, we have organised hackathons in the fields of AR and VR and have seen that students are interested. Hence, we hope to develop a good ecosystem here," says Dr Prasant Kumar Sahu, Professor-In-Charge, Virtual and Augmented Reality Center of Excellence (VARCoE).

"We will be selecting 20 submissions and, among these, ten will be offered seed grants," shares Dr Sahu. There are four tracks that they are proposing to onboard ideas in — medical planning, tourism, cultural heritage and education and skilling. They are on the lookout for ideas that deliver new services and solutions or improve upon the current ones with the potential to launch in the market and reach out to target consumers soon. Start-ups will be onboarded physically and, if needed, virtually as well. The start-ups will also get a chance to engage with corporate and private investors as well, which could even result in a bigger boost for them. "We also have some in-house projects running that students can choose to join," adds Dr Sahu.

"AR/VR is going to be a $30 billion market soon and it is important that our state makes an imprint in this area. This open challenge is one of the many ways in which we want to help students take to these fields. And for them too, it is a good opportunity to further advance in the field of entrepreneurship," says the professor.  

It is IIT Bhubaneswar Research and Entrepreneurship Park (IITBBS-REP) that is hosting this challenge in association with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of Odisha, Start-up Odisha and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

The last date to apply is January 24, 2022. For more details, check out

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