T-Hub, Smart Cities Mission and NITI Aayog Host Smart City Arcade

Hyderabad: T-Hub, leading India’s pioneering innovation ecosystem that powers next-generation products and new business models, Smart Cities Mission (SCM) of Government of India and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, today hosted Smart City Arcade, a consultative session with Smart City startups seeking to engage with India’s Smart Cities. This event helped corporate and government organisations to explore emerging Indian Smart City technologies pitched and showcased at T-Hub premises.

This edition of T-Hub’s Arcade Series was focused on areas such as smart transportation, waste management, water, intelligent housing, smart digital infrastructure, sustainable ecosystem, and accessibility and inclusivity. While startups will benefit from this programme to scale up with speed and pitch to their prospect client partners, the Smart Cities in return will get to explore innovative startup products, opportunities to possibly co-create solutions, or opt for high-yielding investments. This event had Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana (I&C, ITE&C), and Kunal Kumar, Mission Director of SCM and Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, as keynote speakers. A panel session on ‘Role of Innovation and Technology in building Smart Cities’ was moderated by Mani Vajipey, Co-Founder & CEO of Banyan Nation – T-Hub incubated startup – with such esteemed panellists as Mudit Narain from AIM, NSN Murthy from PwC, and Arvind Tiwary, a Smart City Evangelist.

Kunal Kumar, Mission Director of Smart Cities Mission and Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, said, “Innovation will play an increasingly critical role in improving the lives of India’s urban citizens. The Smart Cities Mission is making efforts and designing a platform to connect the Smart Cities to Indian urban-tech startups, enabled by incubators to localise the solutions to each city’s challenges. This platform for innovation will empower Indian entrepreneurs to provide local solutions for local needs.”

Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana (I&C, ITE&C), said, “The smart cities programme rolled out by the Government of India has been a great opportunity for startups to come up with innovative products and solutions. There are many areas of urban governance and delivery of citizen services that can be improved with the use of technology. Many startups from Telangana have already been successful in providing innovative smart city solutions. The Telangana government wants to maximise these opportunities for our homegrown startups by coming out with a structured approach in compiling problem statements, identifying relevant startups which potentially have a solution to these problems, organise PoCs, bring in corporate and academic/R&D collaborations, and then facilitate scaling up of the solutions in partnership with the smart cities National Mission.”

The arcade series focuses on enabling startups to find the right corporate partners who could license, buy out their products, or onboard them as vendors. The programme is strategically designed for corporates and startups to explore possible partnerships and expand their businesses.

Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub, said, “Developing a world-class infrastructure and a strong set of smart cities is vital for India’s growth story, and innovation is the only way to achieve that effectively. T-Hub is excited to join hands with the Indian government bodies NITI Aayog, Atal Innovation Mission, and Smart Cities Mission to make this a reality for our country. Our smart city arcade will bring together startups, with innovations that solve urbanisation challenges, and industry, who will use those solutions, to empower the growth of smart cities in India.”

Indian cities contribute 70 per cent of GDP and 90 per cent of revenues; hence, there is a dire need for initiatives like Smart City Arcade that can address the issues in clean energy, water conservation and management, smart mobility, architecture and design, health tech, and waste management sectors. The startups that were shortlisted to participate, pitch, and showcase demonstrations include Cognitifai, Sanshodhan: An E-Waste Exchange Pvt Ltd, Nimble Vision Pvt Ltd, Vivish Technologies Pvt Ltd (myGate), SmartTerra, and SMARG Technologies Private Limited among others.