Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Nasscom Foundation Boosts Student Entrepreneurship through Cisco ‘thingQbator’

NASSCOM Foundation, today announced the successful completion of the first year of ‘Cisco thingQbator’ initiative at the felicitation ceremony held in Bengaluru. Over the last 12 months, over 600 student teams combined innovation and rapid prototyping with access to ‘Cisco thingQbator’ labs, world-class mentorship and industry connects through NASSCOM. 

The Cisco thingQbator innovation spaces were set-up at Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala (IIITMK) - Trivandrum, IIT-BHU-Varanasi, Amrita University-Coimbatore, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women- Delhi and Trident Academy of Technology-Bhubaneswar.  Over Six hundred students from across the five technical institutions got a first-hand experience on working with high-end tools like 3D printers, LoRa gateways, cloud infrastructure, AI optimized development kits like Jetson Nano to enable technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Apart from designing digital solutions to solve real-world business problems, the students were encouraged to conceive digital solutions to local community problems.  Students with the best solutions from each institute were felicitated at the ceremony.  Some of the innovations include –

·       TrashCash, a waste management solution that incentivizes usage of bins
·       DOST, an app for students dealing with the stresses of competitive exams
·       Bend, a VR platform to gamify physiotherapy exercises

Speaking at the ceremony, V C Gopalratnam, Senior Vice President, IT, Cisco, said, “The thinkQbator initiative was launched on the premise that we are smarter when we work together. We created this programme to curate a community of technology enthusiasts, who will build digital solutions and solve some of the societal and business challenges we face.  We are proud to partner with the NASSCOM Foundation to provide digital and entrepreneurial mentorship and bring the students’ ideas to fruition.”

Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “The Cisco thingQbator program is a true embodiment of fostering change through technology innovation. The program works towards the increase of innovation quotient at college level while injecting entrepreneurial thinking and creating a social mindset.  This is exactly what we at NASSCOM Foundation want to spearhead under the Innovation Spaces umbrella, where young minds are offered a platform to chase their dreams, try, fail and succeed while enabling a large scale social impact through technology.”

Congratulating the students, Ashok said, “Some of the social innovations created under the thingQbator program are game-changing and I congratulate all the students on achieving this feat. We are glad to find an amazing partner in Cisco in our quest of using technology for social good and hope that the relationship only grows from here.”

The program was implemented by Project Defy and Li2 Technologies. As implementation partners, Project Defy and Li2 managed the thingQbators’ on-ground engagement through regular events and workshops. Li2 also created a portal for self-paced learning.

Encouraged by the success, Cisco and NASSCOM Foundation will not just support the thingQbators for another year; they will also be setting up a sixth thingQbator at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), Allahabad.

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