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Startup motto: Technology and defense create a whole new battlefield for innovation

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Pune Several rescue and rescue teams were rushed to the scene by authorities when news of the Chamori Glacier explosion was reported earlier this month.

During the rescue operation, NDRF sought help from some startups from Pune to deal with the situation.

These entrepreneurs are working with Triservice to tackle many of these problem statements using innovative products and unique technologies.

With more than 30 defense facilities in and around Pune, city-based defense startups enjoy the benefit of direct access to these facilities.

The Defense Commission of the Maflatta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCIA) also runs a series of defense procurement support programs for start-ups and MSMEs.

Members of the committee will also facilitate meetings with staff from the Military Engineering Department (CME) and the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to present and demonstrate their products.

Tech Mahindra has set up the Makers Lab at CME to provide the military with cutting-edge next-generation technology.

Arun Kumar Sureban, founder and managing director of Vesta Space Technology, states that every industry has its own perspective. Pune has a very strong connection in the defense sector. With several institutions here, defense startups can really grow in Pune. Startups can establish a position in Pune that is far superior to any other city.

Sureban had planned a satellite launch in September 2020 for the company’s plans, but postponed the plan due to the blockade and changed the deadline to April 2021. The funds received are currently stagnant. The FDI process and we are waiting for clearance to come. We promise speeds of over 400Mbps data communication to your phone and device via satellite backhaul service with data connection.

What the founder says

The focus of our work is on biosensors. We plan to manufacture drug delivery vehicle products such as painless drug delivery agents. Small children are vaccinated, which is a very painful experience for them. Our drug delivery vehicle ensures that the vaccine is delivered and does not cause pain in children. It is still in the research stage and it will take another 4-5 months to launch the finished product. We are also discussing this product with several pharmaceutical companies.

Another product is in the sensor-related domain. We are planning to develop a non-invasive soldier health monitoring system. Use IoT devices to measure the largest health-related parameters such as blood pressure, hemoglobin, serum content, and platelet count of an individual and connect it to a display or mobile. This product requires interdisciplinary expertise and will take approximately a year to launch.

The Defense Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) has launched a well-equipped Innovation and Incubation Center, providing all infrastructure equipment to incubated startups. They may consider internal funding for incubated startups, but no policy decisions have yet been made. We are also seeking government grants from BIRAC’s Science and Technology Sector Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) scheme. DIAT is backed by the NCL Venture Center as guidance in using these grants. Deputy Prime Minister of DIAT, Dr. CP Ramana Rayanan, has worked with Dr. Swanna Datar and Dr. Takul to achieve all of this.

Startups can take advantage of infrastructure support from laboratories and universities. The founders of startups need takers, who develop indigenous technology. Therefore, institutions should strive to improve and improve the interface of the industry, and only then will the startup succeed. I have raised this issue many times on platforms in several countries. You need a common platform / industry interface that says the industry needs technology and is ready to fund it and see if startups can do it for them. ..

-Professor Sangeeta Kale, founder of Navyukti Innovations.Policy and Planning Director, Defense Institute of Advanced Technology

We work in the security domain and our products are unmanned ground systems or vehicles. These products help the military perform reconnaissance, surveillance, and take appropriate action against physical intervention in the enemy. We also designed a logistics robot and demonstrated its capabilities. It can carry a payload of 30 to 40 kg. We also designed a small spherical robot that could be used for rebellion suppression operations at Northern Command.

To date, it has been funded by various government sectors, Science and Technology Park Pune, and SINEIIT Mumbai for Rs 100 million. Recently, we also received a grant from the Ministry of Electronics and Communications for a project we undertook during the blockade. We also marketed it to the SIDBI Fund of Funds.

Last year, a few startups moved to Pune. The Pune ecosystem is pretty good for hardware startups. There are other institutions like DIAT, CME that help entrepreneurs in terms of access and reach. CME is helping to advance the proposal with the Army Training Command. It certainly benefits start-ups.

–Ganesh Pantit Suryawanshi, Founder of Combat Robotics India

Mentor speaks

The Government of India has launched two schemes for startups and MSMEs. The first is the Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme, where users (three services) give requirements to the Future Technology Management Department (DFTM) at DRDO Headquarters. TDF has posted a problem statement on its website. It gives up to 10 chlore grants. Startups and MSMEs invest only 10% in development. Therefore, almost all development is funded by DRDO. They provide on-hand support, such as testing products in the field. They check progress every two months and provide feedback. DRDO also provides mentor support from the institute.

Another scheme offered by the government is the IDEX scheme. It is operated directly by the Defense Production Department. This scheme also brings all problem statements online. The limit is 3 chlores and 50% funding will be provided. Therefore, startups are making a matching contribution in IDEX.

The best thing that happened last year is that both schemes are included in the new defense acquisition procedure. According to the new DAP, Tri-Service will purchase items developed by startups or MSMEs under these schemes in the future. The biggest problem we have faced with buyers in the past is addressed with innovation purchases in policy documents. The only problem with these schemes is that they can take longer than startups want.

In the defense sector, the market is so opaque that venture capitalists are not keen on investing in companies unless there is demand from their end customer, the Ministry of Defense.

As far as the ecosystem is concerned, there is too much mentoring, but no collaboration. Many of us in the startup ecosystem feel that we do everything. This allows people to invest in efforts that someone could have done much faster. Start-ups need to worry about profitability, not the amount of work.

-Zeus Numerix, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Abhishek Jain

The best defense is an attack

Vesta Space Technology

Founded in 2018 by Arun Kumar Sureban

Vesta Space launches Space Data Gateway service based on its own communication technology. The space technology company is building a small satellite platform for commercial and scientific applications. The spacecraft platform developed by Vesta Space meets the needs of applications such as technology demonstrations, communications and global change observation missions of various governments, multinationals, universities and research institutes.

Financing-$ 10,000,000 from Next Capital in September 2020

Combat Robotics India

Founded in 2015 by Ganesh Pandit Suryawansi

Design and manufacture defense-grade robots that enhance and enhance human capabilities. These robots work in harsh conditions with high durability and, with the help of Intel Core processor family, use adaptive chassisless motion technology for tactical surveillance in difficult terrain. And enables information gathering.

Funded by Intel through SINE (IIT Bombay Incubator) and guided by the Central Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology (DST) under the PLUGIN Program Made in India.

Zeus Numerix

Founded in 2004 by Gopal Shevare, Basant Kumar Gupta, Shilowbhadra Banerjee and Irshad Khan.

Zeus Numerix is ​​one of the winners of the 4th edition of the IDEX Defense India StartUp Challenge for the Reduction of Radar Signature of Ships project. A company involved in the analysis, certification and design of defense systems, including certification and design of various naval platforms, aircraft and missile systems.

We received 12 racks of seed funding from SINE and then 2 Chlore angel investments.

Navyukti innovation

Founded in December 2020 by Dr. Sangeeta Kale

Working on the development of biomedical equipment, drug delivery vehicles, and advanced sensors

The first company incubated at the Defense Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT)

Eklavya Aero Sports, Shivajinagar

Founded in 2014 by Ajit Sapre

We provide aero modeling training and sales of aero modeling equipment / kits. We also offer customer-specific solutions for the sale and support of multicopter applications and multicopters (Quad / Hexa / Octa-copters).

Included in 16 finalists by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in December 2020 to solve key security sector challenges

Artificial intelligence and robotics

Founded in 2017 by Sushil Agarwal, Prashil Agarwal, Pankhuri Agarwal

A technology company focused on developing AI-based UAVs for surveying and mapping services. We are also working to improve the takeoff and landing capabilities of fixed-wing UAVs and increase agility by developing fixed-wing UAVs with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

Skykeeper

Founded in 2018 by Swapnil Shende, Jiwan Kumre

Working on drone technology, we provide high value end-to-end engineering solutions and services to the industrial and commercial sectors. Services offered include aerial UAV industry inspections, GIS aerial surveys, agriculture and mining, and drone photography.

Aeronica Advance Technologies

Founded by Uday Mithari in 2019 with support from Anand Deshpande and others

Multi-utility artificial intelligence provides automation, ease of operation, land surveys, land resource mapping, emergency delivery, defense or city monitoring and security, resource tracking, agricultural scanning, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones for resource and lifesaving. Assisted in the event of a natural disaster or accident.

Ayan Autonomous System

Founded in 2019 by Atul Chaudhary

Development of autonomous systems using drones, UAVs, ships, other robot systems, and unmanned platforms. Designed for emergencies, drones are portable and quick to deploy for border and counter surveillance, city police, and crowd management.

Pahwa Metal Tech

Founded in 2014 by Lalit Kumar Pahwa

Manufactures high-tech copper-titanium alloys and components used in several industries such as oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive, electricity and welding. This technology was developed by DRDO and PMTPL is the worldwide exclusive licensee of this technology.

Total number of aviation, aerospace and defense starters

India-905 (DPIIT-Approved-346)

Maharashtra-121 (45)

Pune-33 (13)

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