FORGE – an incubation enterprise established in Coimbatore, is nominated by MHRD, as one of the ten nodal centres for hosting the grand finale of hardware edition of Smart India Hackathon, 2018.

“Smart India Hackathon 2018 – Hardware edition is the world’s largest open innovation model with hardware product development competitions happening simultaneously in 10 centers across India. In the recent times India has moved up rapidly in the Global Innovation Index and ranked 60th currently. But for us to get into the Top 25 we should transform our large base of highly qualified technical manpower into capable innovators applying advanced technologies to solve our nation’s diverse and unique set of problems.“, said Shri. R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, MHRD.

Smart India Hackathon 2018

Inauguration of Grand finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018 – Hardware edition on 18 June, 2018 is hosted by FORGE in Coimbatore. There will be 9 teams working round the clock for 5 days (June 18-22, 2018) building deployable products on the theme import substitution, an essential step towards realizing the vision of Make in India, Startup India, Digital India, and Skill India.

SIH2018 – Hardware edition is the first of its kind innovative methodology adopted in India that will provide an opportunity to young technical minds to showcase their creativity in the form of hardware products that can solve some daunting problems faced by India such as need of clean water, waste management, creation of smart vehicles, smart communication, and so on. The Hardware edition is the 2nd sub edition of SIH2018; the first sub edition of the Software edition Grand Finale successfully took place on Mar 30 & 31, 2018 at 28 nodal centers across India. The 5 days long hardware initiative takes place at 10 prestigious institutions (Nodal centers) across India – IIT Kanpur (Drones theme), IIT Kharagpur (Agriculture theme), IIT Guwahati (Rural Technology theme), CEERI Pilani (Smart Communication theme), CSIO Chandigarh (Healthcare theme), IISc Bengaluru (Smart Vehicles theme), IIT Roorkee (Clean water theme), NIT Trichy (Waste Management theme), COEP Pune (Security theme), and FORGE, Coimbatore (Import Substitution theme).

Smart India Hackathon 2018

The 5 days Hardware edition Grand Finale includes 3 judging rounds and an additional power judging round where top teams will be judged by industry experts and angel investors. The top 3 winning teams under each theme will stand to win cash prizes – Rs 1,00,000/- to Winning team, Rs 75,000/- to First Runner up team and Rs 50,000/- to Second Runner up team. They may also get support from investors who are willing to invest in the products and make them market ready. Ministry of HRD is working closely with Dept. of Science and Technology to explore the possibility of hand-holding the winning teams into becoming startups with the support from Technology Business incubators. Attempts are also being made to seek new avenues of additional post hackathon funding for some of the most promising innovations from the Hardware edition Grand Finale. Truly, Smart India Hackathon 2018 is proving to be an important vehicle for converting innovative ideas from technical students into Start up initiatives. This is in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative announced by Honorable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi.

Smart India Hackathon is the largest open innovation program in the world aimed at ushering in a pan India movement to foster a culture of innovation and to empower students. The program has touched over 1 Lakh students in the country and within a year has become a brand of national significance”, said Prof. Partha Chakrabarty, The Chairman, SIH 2018 (Hardware Edition) and Director, IIT Kharagpur.

“Smart India Hackathon is the first of its kind and the world’s largest nation building initiative to accelerate and empower innovation. We should grab the most out of the fourth industrial revolution and lead the revolution by harnessing and igniting the creativity of the youth of our country and transform India into a vibrant, self- sustaining economy. Through this, we hope to give the technical students from our nation a chance to convert their innovative ideas into products with help of industry mentors, exhibit them to investors and get a chance to be one of the upcoming Startup initiatives.”, said Shri. Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister, HRD.

SIH is a platform for students from smaller towns and remote villages with path-breaking ideas to solve their local problem harnessing the power of technology. This government is committed to empower bright young Indians through several national level programs such as Digital India, Startup India, and Skill India, and the SIH serves as the perfect bridge between these programs and Make In India.”, said Shri. C.P. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, National Coir Board, and former state president of BJP, Tamil Nadu, presiding as Chief Guest of the inauguration function hosted in FORGE, Coimbatore.

“From demonstrating a solar tree for indoor/consumer applications, designing a human friendly bone conduction headphone, building models to measure and monitor pollution in cities by leveraging advancements in AI,IoT, and Cloud, the 9 student teams hosted by FORGE shall prototype low-cost substitutions for expensive imports.”, said Dr. Dileep N. Malkhede, Advisor, AICTE, chairing as Guest of Honour of the inauguration function hosted in FORGE, Coimbatore.

“Innovation capacity within India’s large base of students in higher technical education, remains the most untapped of our nation’s potential. To address that we are championing the deep integration of student innovation programs in the mainstream curriculum of higher technical education in the UG and PG degree programs. This year we are launching the FORGE.FELLOWS program for pre-incubation as a full-fledged 1-year program for final year engg/tech/science undergrad students, and a 2-year Startup Masters Program for young graduates leading to a M.E/M.Tech degree, creating a strong pipeline of proven innovations as supply to our incubation, investment, and acceleration programs.”, said Vish Sahasranamam, Cofounder & CEO, FORGE.


FORGE is the incubation enterprise launched by the Coimbatore Innovation & Business Incubator (CIBI), founded with the vision to create & catalyse innovation powered enterprises that harness the power at the intersection of hardware, software, and computing technologies to solve real-world problems, creating economic gains and delivering social impact. FORGE.FACTORY – the 20,000 sq.ft incubator established in Coimbatore, includes HWjunction – the fully integrated lab for full-spectrum hardware innovation offering equipment, tools, and resources in computing (AI/ML), IoT, electronics, desktop fabrication, 3D printing, drones, and automation & robotics, to support the design, development, and testing of ‘manufacturing’ ready prototypes.

FORGE offers holistic incubation services covering innovation, grant, acceleration, and seed capital investment to transform innovative ideas into successful enterprises with potential for growth, impacts and profits. FORGE has achieved steady and significant progress in our vision to become a 360D Incubation Enterprise, built on the 3 pillars of our strategy and operations – value creation & delivery, revenue generation, and self-sustainable growth. Founded on this principle is our strategy to build a multi-level portfolio of programs that combine to offer a comprehensive suite of services throughout the startup lifecycle from ideas to enterprises. We have adopted a 3-stage process for accelerating innovative ideas into enterprises with potential for investments, growth, and profits.

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