IoTNext 2015 to create an ecosystem

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) on Wednesday commenced the first edition of  IoTNext 2015 in Bengaluru. “IoTNext is an initiative to provide an ecosystem around IoT, which is a new domain, particularly for startups,” said Naganand Doraswamy, President, TiE.

The event is a platform to encourage and bring together the technology ecosystem with IoT — Hardware, IT, Big Data, Cloud and Connectivity — in India, enabling efficient solutions with industry collaborations.

“Funding for tech startups in India needs more focus. While the upper layer of IoT, i.e. analytics is well funded, the tech that enables this, say innovation in sensors is not,” said Vinay Shenoy, Chairman of IESA. “Even pre-seed stage funding in this space is lacking,” he added.

“Innovation in IoT is more challenging. It requires infrastructure in prototyping facilities, sourcing components, and the testing period here is also longer,” said Shenoy. “We want to make a start by alleviating the pain points for startups,” added Doraswamy.

IoTNext has shortlisted 20 IoT startups in the space of healthcare, agriculture, smart cities, and gaming, among others, that showcased their innovation at the event. IESA and TiE started off in June 2014, with about 280 startups. “At present, we are working closely with about 120 startups, and mentoring 20 startups, five of which are close to being funded,”  said Doraswamy.

In an initiative spearheaded by General Electric, out of 45 applications, eight healthcare IoT startups have been shortlisted to participate in the IoTNext, and they will compete on Thursday. Two winners from the lot, aside form the cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, will receive the Innovation and Impact awards.

IoTNext, in many ways, is also an effort in the direction of enagaging the IoT ecosystem with the government for its smart city initiative, among others. “Across the globe, there is no standard template for smart city. Hence, solutions have to be highly customised. This requires for a community within the country that can enable it," Doraswamy said.

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