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Meet The 11 Early Stage Startups From BITS Pilani Conquest’s 19th Edition

SUMMARY

This year's Conquest attracted around 2,200 applications from entrepreneurs across India

Over a period of six weeks, the selected cohort of 11 startups benefited from comprehensive online mentorship, networking opportunities, and skill enhancement through hackathons

The 2023 cohort showcased a diverse range of startups operating in sectors such as AI, social impact, agritech, SaaS, fintech, and robotics

The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, successfully concluded the 19th edition of its student-led startup accelerator programme, Conquest, with a Demo Day in August.

Over a period of six weeks, the selected cohort of 11 startups benefited from comprehensive online mentorship, networking opportunities, and skill enhancement through hackathons and virtual entrepreneurial sessions. The programme culminated in the ‘finale week,’ featuring an in-person demo day event in Bengaluru.

This year’s Conquest attracted around 2,200 applications from entrepreneurs across India. From these, the chosen 11 startups were awarded an equity-free grant of $12K (approximately INR 10 Lakh) each, with the opportunity to secure additional funding from an investment pool of $5 Mn. 

The panel of investors included industry stalwarts such as Pranav Pai from 3one4 Capital, Sharan Aggarwal from Leviosa, and Sameer Brij Verma from Nexus Venture Partners, among others.

The 2023 cohort showcased a diverse range of startups operating in sectors such as AI, social impact, agritech, SaaS, fintech, and robotics. 

Here Are The Startups From Conquest Accelerator Programme

Glovatrix

  • Founded In: 2021
  • Founders: Aishwarya Karnataki, Parikshit Sohoni
  • Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra
  • Sector: AI, social impact

Launched in 2021 by Aishwarya Karnataki and Parikshit Sohoni, Pune-based Glovatrix aims to revolutionise communication for individuals with hearing impairments. Its product ‘Fifth Sense,’ is an AI-driven device that facilitates communication by converting sign language gestures into spoken words and text.

The ‘Fifth Sense’ is a wearable device resembling a glove. It’s engineered to convert sign language gestures directly into audible speech and written text, making sign language accessible and comprehensible to all. It allows users the freedom to engage in everyday activities, from medical consultations to office presentations, independently, without the intermediary of sign language interpreters. 

Equipped with sophisticated sensors that detect intricate finger movements, the device is adeptly trained in Indian Sign Language, incorporating a real-time feedback system for continual improvement. Glovatrix unveiled the ‘Fifth Sense’ on September 17, 2023, in conjunction with World Deaf Day, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s journey.

Verdant Impact

  • Founded In: 2020
  • Founders: Manish Kumar
  • Headquarters: Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Sector: Agritech

Jaipur-based Verdant Impact is dedicated to empowering farmers with advanced livestock management and agricultural techniques. As a comprehensive full-stack animal husbandry platform, it harnesses the power of technology to provide a suite of services tailored for modern agriculture. 

One of the key innovations of Verdant Impact is its adoption of blockchain technology to create a secure and transparent online marketplace where farmers can trade livestock with ease and confidence. 

Additionally, Verdant Impact integrates RFID technology through smart ear tags, enabling farmers to monitor and evaluate the health and quality of their livestock. This technological synergy assists farmers in making well-informed purchasing decisions. 

The startup also prioritises animal health through its ‘animal ICU’ service. This aspect of the platform gives farmers regular health check-ups, vaccinations, and the ability to quickly find medical help in emergencies. Complementing these services is ‘Kisan Radio,’ a round-the-clock broadcasting service that shares vital agricultural information with the farming community. 

To address the critical need for quality animal feed, Verdant Impact retails these essentials via its online portal. They further distinguish themselves with their innovative ‘cattle credit card’ programme, allowing farmers to acquire feed on credit, thus maintaining a continuous supply of necessary nutrients for their livestock. Verdant Impact takes pride in having positively impacted over 4.5 Mn farmers across the country.

Greenpod Labs

  • Founded In: 2019
  • Founder: Deepak Rajmohan
  • Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Sector: Agritech

India ranks as the world’s second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, yet an alarming 40% of this bounty deteriorates before it ever reaches the consumer. 

Observing this critical issue, Deepak Rajmohan established Greenpod Labs, a startup focussed on extending the freshness of produce. 

Greenpod Labs has developed an ‘Active Packaging’ (FSSAI certified) solution designed to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. This packaging technology decelerates the ripening process and prevents the growth of detrimental microorganisms. 

Each packet is meticulously tailored for specific types of produce, ensuring optimal preservation. This advanced packaging has demonstrated the capacity to extend the longevity of fruits and vegetables by 40-80%, a significant leap in combating food wastage. 

Moreover, Greenpod Labs claims that its packaging leaves no harmful residues on the produce and retains the essential nutrients. 

Flo Mobility

  • Founded In: 2019
  • Founders: Manesh Jain, Mohan Sivam
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Sector: AI, Robotics

Founded in 2019, Bengaluru-based Flo Mobility aims to democratise autonomous technology, making it both affordable and accessible. 

The startup’s premier product, Flo Atom, is an autonomous electric outdoor mover that can be operated remotely. It not only facilitates the management of vehicle fleets but also provides real-time data crucial for operational efficiency. 

Originally, Flo Mobility concentrated its efforts on the construction industry by automating vehicles such as dumpers. With time, the startup broadened its technological applications to encompass sectors like hospitality, mobility, agriculture, and warehousing. 

The primary objective is to streamline the adoption of self-driving technology across various industries. The founders’ compelling vision and the transformative potential of their technology have captivated investors. Notable backers include DevX Venture Fund, Venture Garage Angels, and Blume Founders Fund, collectively contributing $400K in funding in 2021.

Hackrew

  • Founded In: 2018
  • Founders: Sai Krishna Kothapalli
  • Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Sector: SaaS

In 2018, Sai Krishna Kothapalli identified two significant cybersecurity hurdles for businesses: escalating data breaches and the complexity of regulatory compliance for data protection. In response, Kothapalli founded Hackrew to streamline security testing and regulatory adherence for businesses. 

Hackrew offers a unified dashboard designed for both internal and external security and development teams in organisations. This tool facilitates the detection of security vulnerabilities, sharing of penetration testing reports, and proactive measures to prevent future security weaknesses. 

Paddleboat

  • Founded In: 2022
  • Founders: Shaswat Mishra, Ashutosh Raj, Sri Prasad Rajendran
  • Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Sector: SaaS

PaddleBoat offers a dynamic knowledge-sharing platform for companies, infusing gamification to stimulate employee learning. It promotes a culture of mutual learning among peers, accelerating onboarding processes, enhancing productivity, and fostering teamwork. 

Dew, PaddleBoat’s AI assistant, boosts personal productivity by providing customised suggestions, aiding in brainstorming, and facilitating collaborative creation. Dew also acts as a knowledge repository, enabling team leaders to monitor training time investments, recognise significant contributors, and pinpoint skill deficiencies among their teams. 

For instance, consider the collaboration between PaddleBoat and the digital sexual wellness clinic Allo Wellness. Allo struggled with a scarcity of sexual health experts and limited treatment offerings. Their primary hurdle was to onboard and train healthcare professionals efficiently, create compelling content, and ensure accountability. 

PaddleBoat addressed this challenge by offering an intuitive, cross-learning platform that streamlined the training process for health experts. This partnership resulted in rapid onboarding and an enhanced quality of sexual wellness services provided to Allo’s clients.

Swift Robotics

  • Founded In: 2020
  • Founders: Sunny Duseja, Michael Kostyal
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Sector: Robotics

Frustrated by the lengthy queues in mall food courts and the slow pace of medicine delivery and report handling in hospitals, software engineers Sunny Duseja and Michael Kostyal took the plunge to solve it. 

Swift has developed robots that enhance indoor food delivery efficiency in malls and speed up medicine distribution in hospitals through automation. It aims to reduce human dependency, allowing people to move away from monotonous tasks and ultimately elevating service standards. 

The startup has made its mark in locations such as Delhi’s Ambience Mall, an NHS hospital in London and Mumbai’s Reliance Hospital. Duseja and Kostyal envision deploying 1,500 robots in the near future, transforming service delivery mechanisms. 

Ving Hybrid

  • Founded In: 2020
  • Founders: Aditya Pisupati, Amitabh Patney
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Sector: SaaS

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as the global workforce transitioned to a new working paradigm, Aditya Pisupati and Amitabh Patney, product developers at CISCO, recognised the critical need for tools that support a hybrid working model. 

Experiencing the challenges of remote work firsthand, they understood the importance of fluid communication and seamless virtual collaborations, particularly for meetings. In response to this need, they developed Ving Hybrid, a video conferencing platform designed to streamline remote collaboration. 

Ving Hybrid distinguishes itself with a user-friendly interface that initiates meetings through a simple QR code scan, eliminating the complexities often associated with virtual meeting setups. The platform claims to be cost-efficient, reducing licensing and hardware costs by 70%, presenting organisations with an economical solution for their communication needs. 

It’s designed for universal compatibility, ensuring that users can connect effortlessly across various devices. 

VouchPay

  • Founded In: 2020
  • Founders: Nithin Prakash, Krishna Jonnakadla
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Sector: Fintech

Nithin Prakash and Krishna Jonnakadla launched VouchPay in 2020, focusing on enhancing trust and security in escrow transactions. Escrow services play a pivotal role in safeguarding both buyers and sellers by holding the payment in a secure account until the terms of the agreement are met.

Recognising that trust is a fundamental component in transactions, VouchPay expedites the trust-building process. The platform offers a digital escrow dashboard, designed to cater to diverse transaction needs, streamlining the process for individuals and businesses alike. Its efficiency in facilitating trust makes it easier for users to execute and receive bulk payments securely.

With a positive impact on over 50 organisations, startups, and businesses, VouchPay has established its value in the market. The startup is now setting its sights on expanding its services to accommodate international payments, broadening its scope and potential impact.

Workroom Automation

  • Founded In: 2022
  • Founders: Abhinav Atthota, Rohan Agarwal
  • Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Sector: SaaS

Recognising the inefficiencies plaguing manufacturing enterprises, such as manual operations, scattered data, and lack of real-time insights, software engineers Abhinav Atthota and Rohan Agarwal founded Workroom Automation. The startup’s no-code application, ‘Connected Factory’, addresses these challenges head-on. 

‘Connected Factory’ enables manufacturers to easily create custom apps without any coding knowledge, effectively centralising shop floor data. This consolidation of information enhances visibility, efficiency, and product quality. By integrating people, processes, and machines into a singular system, ‘Connected Factory’ facilitates the collection and analysis of real-time data. This allows manufacturers to streamline their operations, improve decision-making, and ultimately boost productivity.

Zeyka

  • Founded In: 2021
  • Founders: Yug Aggarwal, Vipul Takkar
  • Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
  • Sector: AI

Zeyka has developed a 3D design software that revolutionises the designing and planning processes for designers and architects, enhancing their productivity. 

Cofounded by Yug Aggarwal and Vipul Takkar in 2020, Zeyka cuts the time required for design projects by 58%. The platform allows architects and designers to incorporate real materials and products from leading brands directly into their design phase, facilitating accurate visualisations and minimising the need for subsequent revisions. 

By streamlining material discovery, selection, and procurement, Zeyka enables architects to focus their expertise on the creative aspect of designing, optimising both time and resources.

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