Kerala, India may not be central to the country’s top startup companies, and may even trail Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Delhi, in funding. However, it is ahead of the curve for startups in relation to government accelerator, incubator, and mentorship programs. Kerala also offers impressive financing tools and grants for R&D, which has launched many ideas.
For example, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) welcomed Brinc, a Hong Kong-based hardware accelerator, to discuss the challenges faced by product and hardware startups in India. An international accelerator, Brinc helps startups understand the global hardware business and to develop effective products.
Brinc’s accelerator program, with support from Maker Village (the largest electronic hardware incubator in India) and KSUM, operates with startups in sectors such as robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), and consumer electronics. Brinc CEO, Manav Gupta said the program offers comprehensive support to mid-stage startups that have a capable prototype and are ready to submit to the design for manufacturing (DFM) phase.
Startups in India have been researching technology innovations, with market plans for software advancements. However, the country is still growing in its understanding of hardware technology, including startup accelerators for electronic devices and IoT innovations.
The Brinc accelerator program is expected to be financed in three parts with access to the following:
- Teams that progress through the program levels can earn up to USD 250K in investment and additional maintenance services to improve their DFM products and bring their companies to market.
- Selected startups will have access to a state-of-the-art laboratory at Kochi’s Integrated Startup Complex. As of January 2019, the lab provides the highest quality infrastructure for acceleration and incubation. Equipment includes industrial 3D printers, metal machining centers, electronic and mechanical CAD software, stock testing equipment, an automatic SMT assembly line, and more.
- Startups will be welcome at both Maker Village and Fab Lab Kochi.
“Kerala is attempting to create an exclusive hardware startup environment in the state and it is essential to create accelerators, which provide product-market linkage, advanced market connect and access to venture funds,” stated Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO of Kerala’s Startup Mission.
Electronic game changers
From artificial intelligence (AI) to IoT, the consumer electronics (CE) arena has transformed nearly every aspect of human life. Driven by consumer demand, the sector is looking for advanced technologies, modifications, or products that are cost-friendly and solve day-to-day challenges.
However, the consumer electronics industry is not without obstacles. For every successful product, there are many unsuccessful prototypes. The sector faces several challenges, such as out-of-date technologies, impatient consumers, technology adoption issues, and diminishing demand for products.
One example is that the smartphone revolution is over. Since 2016, there has been a decrease in demand for smartphones. After years of smartphone development (with the majority in India, 80 percent, and China, 89 percent), this segment is slowing down. For the most part, consumers are satisfied with their existing phones and unwilling to upgrade to newer models.
Nevertheless, consumer electronics are expected to be the primary driver for the industry in India during the next financial year. E
Enhanced broadband penetration in the country will open up additional avenues of growth for electronics. Also, high demand for communication and broadband equipment, such as mobile handsets and accessories, is likely to increase for electronic components and commodities.
Here are a few new trends in the consumer electronics industry that are transforming how consumers live:
AI has become omnipresent across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, education, marketing, telecommunication, transport, retail, and others. Technology providers are concentrating n three key areas: autonomous business processes, advanced analytics, and AI-powered immersive and conversational interfaces.
The popular game Pokémon GO was established on augmented reality (AR). Its achievement made businesses see the potential of AR technology in interlacing with consumers through gaming and entertainment. Likewise, Google, Apple, and Lenovo launched next-generation smartphones with hardware-level AR. Such features include depth-sensing camera lenses and environmental background mapping systems.
Manufacturers are integrating IoT technologies that let people connect with their appliances at home, regardless of their location. Customers can now monitor household devices and turn on or off devices (such as the heat or air-conditioning) with their smartphone.
Televisions can now offer computer-integrated browsing, with Internet connection. One recent report found that 48.5 percent of sets shipped worldwide were smart TVs. This is expected to reach 134 million by 2020.
IoT is already connecting devices in automobiles and will revolutionize the future of driving. Car manufacturers are using onboard sensors and internet connectivity to enhance a car’s ability to map its surroundings and destination, and improve customer comfort and safety. Similar to smartphones, drivers will be able to access this information on their smartphones. By 2020, the global number of connected car components and service market is assessed at more than USD150 billion.