KOCHI:Promising early-stage hardware startups stand to win exciting prizes, a chance to get an acceleration program in the US as well as compete for a $50,000 grand prize, at the AlphaLabGear National Hardware Cup, a prestigious competition that is being conducted in India for the first time this month. Electronics incubator Maker Village in Kochi, Kerala, will host the India finals of the AlphaLabGear Hardware Cup on March 27.
Entries are open to hardware entrepreneurs from all over the country who can apply on https://www.f6s.com/thenationalhardwarecup. The deadline for registration is March 23. The AlphaLabGear National Hardware Cup is an annual pitching contest conducted in seven cities in the US to identify and nurture talented early-stage startups that have created at least one physical product.
The fact that India has been chosen to host the first such competition outside the US is a sign of the growing global interest in the country as a source of hardware innovation, especially given the government’s current thrust on boosting ESDM (Electronic Software Design and Manufacturing) as well as flagship programmes such as Make in India and Digital India, said Maker Village Chief Consultant S Rajeev.
Participating teams will have the chance to make a 4-minute pitch to an expert panel who will judge them on excellence of the founding team and product or service, market opportunity, early customer success, basic compliance, potential to scale up, demonstrable prototypes, vision, drive and their requirements to productise and go to market, said Thenmozhi Shanmugam, principal of fundcloud.in, a startup fund and a partner in the event.
The winning team in Kochi will receive a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and a one-year subscription to Solidworks, among other prizes. They will also get to travel to Pittsburgh in US in April for the Hardware Cup Finals where they can compete to win a $50,000 convertible-debt investment from a VC, and a 6-month acceleration program.