Boost for “100 Smart Cities” Initiative Announced

To report challenges encountered by corporates, governments and startups on Smart Cities, recently, the Innovation Acceleration Group, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) had announced that it has collaborated with global tech firm Quantela to set-up Smart City Accelerator and Innovation Centers in India.

Deepak Bagla, Managing Director & CEO – Invest India, Mark Searle, Managing Director, UC Berkeley Innovation Acceleration Group, Manav Subodh, Director, Smart Cities India, UC Berkeley Innovation Acceleration Group, Sridhar Gadhi, Founder and CEO, Quantela and Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary, Department of Defence Production announced this partnership in an event held in New Delhi.

Berkeley-Quantela Accelerator is an opportunity for startups to build and grow in the field of Smart cities. This platform provides the required mentorship and guidance to succeed on a comprehensive scale. As cities grow and urbanization increases, on one hand the opportunities for the citizens increase manifolds, but on the other day, the challenges also increase. Challenges, that are likely to have an impact on various segments of urban quality such as economy, culture, social, parking, environment etc.

Accelerator:

The Accelerator will teach selected startups intensive immersion in innovation developments designed to identify business opportunities (real problems that require real solutions), validate product ideas through Investment Readiness Levels, engage with potential customers, build scalable business models, and manage team dynamics. The accelerator will be divided into the following phases and includes –

  • Three days onsite instructor training forum with Berkeley instructors in August 2018,
  • Five monthly online lectures and office hours with trainees and
  • Demo day and investor meetings for selected startup at UC Berkeley campus in April 2019.

Innovation Center:

The innovation center will help build an ecosystem of smart city partners integrated on one single platform. The ecosystem will help the cities to expedite the execution of their projects and drive the immediate outcomes in form of smart solutions.

The innovation center will host a quarterly smart city innovation forum where the policymakers and administrators across India can visit the center with their smart city problems. Corporations and startups will work on these and provide solutions.

UC Berkeley will design the innovation accelerations programs, teaching, delivery and curriculum. It will also focus on coaching of Lean Startup methods and customer development process for selected startups and assisting and supervising innovation projects from the ideation to validated business models.

Quantela being a partner of Cisco in providing an AI platform for urban infrastructure in smart cities, is excited to work with young and passionate start-ups, provide them the required domain expertise, help them in building a market fit product, assisting them with the Go To Market strategy and therefore, helping them to scale.”

Related Reading – IOT and Impact on Smart Cities

Government of India’s official investment promotion agency – ‘Invest India’ is also a partner is helping the Indian startups to get access to this unique opportunity accelerator program through Startup India hub, which is a one-stop platform for all stakeholders in the Startup ecosystem to interact amongst each other, exchange knowledge and form successful partnerships in a highly dynamic environment.

Deepak Bagla, Managing Director & CEO – ‘Invest India’ said, “The Indian Government’s initiative to create more than 100 smart cities is unprecedented in the World and provides immense opportunities for tech start-ups. The unique partnership between UC Berkeley, Quantela and Invest India will help Indian start-ups that operate across the entire technological spectrum such as those from smart IoT to smart mobility and smart power that are critical for smart cities.

More importantly, Start-up India Hub with its pan India membership is likely to help entrepreneurs in not just the metros but tier-2 and tier-3 cities of India. Such partnerships play an invaluable role in transforming India from a consumer of technologies to a provider of technologies – not just for India but for the World.”

Mark Searle, Managing Director, UC Berkeley Innovation Acceleration group said, “UC Berkeley in partnership with Quantela is committed to make India Smart Cities a success. We are happy to announce that Manav Subodh, Director of International Development UC Berkeley Innovation Acceleration group, will be leading this initiative based out of India.”

Sridhar Gadhi, Founder and CEO, Quantela said, “We are extremely glad to partner with Berkeley for the innovation program. Our aim is to create a start-up ecosystem focused on creating solutions to curb the growing urban challenges.

The Innovation Acceleration Group (IAG) of UC Berkeley accelerates the market delivery of customer validated innovations focused on establishing disruptive business models and leveraging new technologies. IAG has experience working in a multitude of industries, including CPG, health-care, biotech, pharma, hardware, software and social ventures.

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