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Maker Village Ties up with Qualcomm to Groom World-class Startups

In Business
August 28, 2019

Maker Village has tied up with American MNC Qualcomm in an effort to groom startups of international standards, charting out a four-phase project that will be completed in the coming six months.

The collaboration is being initiated following a bilateral agreement the California-headquartered semiconductor and telecommunications equipment giant signed with the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology seven weeks ago. Kochi’s Maker Village, which is India’s largest electronic hardware incubator and ESDM facility, is the first beneficiary of the pact inked in Delhi early last month with a view to providing startups access to peers working on similar societal challenges across the world.

A six-member Qualcomm delegation visited Maker Village today as part of the initiative. Under the project, Qualcomm India will give support to 15 chosen startups electronic hardware startups. The beneficiaries belong to three categories: startups by college students, those incubated by Maker Village and another group functioning as industrial units. Each category will have five startups.

Qualcomm will extend support to the startups in a wide range of subjects including ideation, model, product, intellectual property rights, geographical indication and marketing. Experts on each of the matters will guide the startups at Maker Village. By when the project gets over in February next year, Kerala will have at least five startups of global standard, according to senior functionaries.

“An exposure and interaction with experts of international repute will be a key advantage of the beneficiaries of the project,” points out Qualcomm India Incubator Associate Director Pushkar Apte. “Besides the scheduled rigour, there will be training on complex matters such as schematic layout.”

Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair, while listing the project’s benefits, said Qualcomm does possess the expertise to groom startups in India, where the MNC can know deeper about local talents in electronic hardware. “It is because Maker Village is India’s largest incubator of its kind that we got selected first under the project,” he pointed out.

Kerala Startup Mission CEO Dr Saji Gopinath, who is Director of the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, noted that Qualcomm is a behemoth with whom even top electronic firms would desire to associate. “Their vast experience and deep knowledge will benefit us immensely,” he added.

Maker Village is already in similar association with leading companies such as Bosch, Intel and IBM. Qualcomm’s workshop at Maker Village’s Kalamassery premises today was led by Senior Director (Engineering) Ramesh Rao, Principal Engineer Kiran Chikkappa, Patent Counsel Prakash Balekundri and Senior Staff IP Engineer Hemang Shah. The 1985-founded Qualcomm, based out of San Diego, designs and markets wireless telecommunications products and services.