Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras Incubation Cell and TiE-Chennai organized the first edition of ‘Chennai Demo Day’ to showcase India’s leading Deep Tech Innovation and Startup Hub to Investors, Industries, Startup community and the Government.
Over 100 technology startups from the IITM Incubation Cell, the IITM Centres of Excellence and the Pre-Incubators showcased their technology during this event, held today (16th February 2019) at the IIT Madras Research Park. The event was intended to provide a platform for Startups incubated by IIT Madras as well as startups in Chennai to interact with investors, industry, Government and institutions from across India.
Speaking about their experience in taking part in this event, Mr. Pankaj Pawan, Founder and CEO, Maximl, an enterprise SAAS startup, disrupting industrial collaboration by rapidly digitalizing last mile workflows, said, “Events like ‘Chennai Demo Day’ help us connect with industry personnel which provides two things – Their first-hand experience about the problem, which helps us shape our product development roadmap and business opportunities to commercialize and scale our product.”
Mr. Prasanth Parameswaran, Senior Product Manager, Uniphore, said, “Uniphore is committed to building the future of Conversational Voice Interfaces with state of the art AI Tech. The event was a great opportunity for us to meet fellow tech product companies to understand and share thoughts on challenges in building and scaling world class products out of India” –The outcomes of this event for startups include investment leads, industry connections, potential hires through various educational institutions, and showcasing the tranlsational research work underway IIT Madras and Incubation Cell that are supporting futuristic ventures creating social impacts.
Mr. Tanuj Jhunjhunwala, Cofounder and CEO, Planys Technologies, said “Planys Technologies is a pioneer in underwater robotics inspection solutions in India. An IIT Madras incubated startup inspired by the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative, Planys develops indigenous custom built remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) for inspection of underwater structures.”
Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Co-Chairman, IITMIC and IITMRP, said, “The IIT Madras Research Park is a non-profit company, started by IIT Madras but independent of IIT Madras and its objective is to enable innovation and interaction between academia and industry, which is the key. The Research Park represents a symbol in the country of maturing of the interaction between industry and academia. Innovation happens when three sets of people come together – experienced industry person, a knowledgeable faculty and youngsters who do not know that it cannot be done.”
Further, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala added, “This facility now has around 80 companies who have set up their R&D units here and are collaborating with IIT Madras faculty. Today. we have more than 50 faculty members who have set up their own startups through the IIT Madras Incubation Cell. We will incubate 60 to 70 companies every year and will soon touch 100 companies every year.”
Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) is also taking part and is showcasing the recently-launched Tamil Nadu Government’s Startup Policy. Participants were also taken around the IIT Madras Research Park, which is the largest university-based Research Park in India.
Speaking later, Mr. V. Shankar, President, TiE-Chennai & Director, IITMIC Board, said, “We want more startups from Chennai to participate in this event so that it becomes a truly ‘Chennai Demo Day’ in the future.”
The startups that participated in the event spanned various sectors including, manufacturing, automobiles, electric vehicles, robotics, Internet of Things, Agritech, Solar-DC, HealthTech, Biotechnology, AI/ML/AR-VR/Data Sciences, Edtech, Water, Waste and Consumer Tech.
Highlighting the importance of this event, Dr Tamaswati Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer, IITM Incubation Cell, said, “The demo day is a first-of-its-kind event at IITMRP held in such a grand scale, where we are witnessing participation from 100+ deep tech startups (incubated at IITM or from across Chennai) working to solve challenges faced by our country today. We are deeply encouraged by the overwhelming support by our partner investors (80+ from pan India) and industry (60+) that are attending today.”
Senior executives from various Corporate firms including the Murugappa Group, ITC, Google ventures, Sequioa Capital, Ivy cap ventures and Dow Chemicals besides Government agencies such as Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) participated in the event.