Ahmedabad, June 1: A stylish Smart Watch that helps deaf individuals learn about their environment through vibrations and an ear pod that can sense your brain waves and tell the mood and emotions at that point of time on an app fetched for their innovators the prestigious Rajeev Circle Fellowship and an all-expense-paid ticket to Silicon Valley in California.
The fellowship provided the selected makers a chance to showcase their products in Silicon Valley and meet some of the best startups there for further honing their talents. Now back from their stint in California, the young innovators are excited to take their products to the next level with plans of commercial production.
Asha Jadeja Motwani, a celebrated Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist and serial angel investor who started the Fellowship five years ago, said she would provide seed funding to some of the Fellows for further development of their products.
Overall, ten bright young Indians were selected for the fellowship from a host of products and devices that were displayed at the 4th edition of Maker Fest India, held in Ahmedabad in January this year.
The Maker Fest is a homegrown version of the hugely popular Maker Faire that began in California in 2006 and is now held in several cities of the US, Europe, Japan, Brazil and Africa. Introduced in India in 2013 by Asha, it is fast shaping up as a stellar event in India on innovation, creativity and early-stage entrepreneurship.
Nitin Vasant, a student of Cochin University of Science and Technology, has developed the ear pods that can sense a person’s brain waves and register the mood, feelings and emotions at that point of time on an app. The pioneering product has been sponsored by companies like Intel and Bosch.
Nupura Kirloskar has developed the Smart Watch designed for deaf individuals. Named Blee, it can listen to a deaf person’s environment and notify him/her about all the sound alerts with vibrations, colors and icons.
“We selected ten innovators from the 4th edition of Maker Fest India and invited them to Silicon Valley from May 2 to 24 for the fellowship programme. It immerses the innovators into unusual environments that celebrate community, individual growth, and exponential thinking to further their own frontiers of possibility,” Asha said.
Asha instituted Rajeev Circle (RC) Fellowship to celebrate the legacy of her late husband Prof. Rajeev Motwani, who was an internationally acclaimed Computer Science professor at Stanford University and responsible for creating the research, algorithms and platforms for over a 100 startups in Silicon Valley, including the tech giant Google.
“I instituted the Fellowship programme with an aim to radically transform the thinking of promising young entrepreneurs in the Indian sub-continent,” she said. “The Maker Fest is the pre-eminent event of its kind in India showcasing products ranging from ‘jugaad’ or garage innovations to early-stage venture ready products that are already selling in the market.”
The list of awardees included Aditya Bhatt, who has invented free energy generator, water battery, insole generator and industrial Tesla coils. He aspires to bring his tech to the world and replace fossil fuels in the next ten years. Priyavrat Rathore is helping Aditya by designing the casing for Tesla coils.
Yash Bansal is making Internet of Things (IoT)-based solutions for home. He has made a drone, an automatic stove switch and an automated luggage carrier.
Sweta Joshi and her colleague Jhumur Pandya have launched a startup that is developing solutions for air and water purification. Their plan is to launch their products commercially in the Indian market.
Harsh Songra has developed an app which detects disorders in a child within ten seconds. He himself was rejected by the society and school when he was a teen. It took his parents 16 years to realise that he was not normal. Currently, Harsh (20), who operates from Bengaluru with his team, was the youngest TEDxGateway speaker in 2016.
Jasmeet Singh, founder of JMoon L.A.B.S in Delhi, is focused on creating new hardware for applications in robotics and wearables. He is working on the company’s online platforms RoboRium.com and Maker Mandi, which sell the best quality robotic products at the lowest prices and also empower individuals and startups to sell their products in an easy manner.
Hasit Ganatra, of Ahmedabad-based Rematerials, has been selected for his intense research- based startup that transforms certain kinds of waste into robust roofing material for low income housing.
The tenth fellowship awardee was Jaidev Shah who has developed a robot that detects methane, o2 and other noxious gasses on large piles of urban garbage dumps and provides an early warning system to control fires and save lives. The robot sends real time data to a mobile phone application.
In the last five years, the programme has evolved from simply a fellowship to a radically empowered “family-ship” of 63 Fellows so far. Asha calls it “my own army of budding venture capitalists who are being groomed to discover and build radical new technologies that will leapfrog the planet into a more peaceful and equitable system.”
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