Over the past years we have been taking the Startups Club Demo Day to one city and conducting a pitching competition which involved 10 startups. This year we decided to take it one step further and launched the Demo Day in 10 cities across India. As a consequence, we had 94 startups pitching to us across the 10 cities. Out of these 94, 12 made it to the Finale in Chennai which we held last weekend. The winners from each of the cities that we went to, and a couple of wild-card entries.
The finale was a grand affair and what a finale it was. Despite circumstances not being ideal, more than 300 people turned up at the event and we were supported greatly by our Pioneer Members who as usual came from different cities to take part in the Demo Day.
The competition was intense on the third day of the event, as each of the startups went all out to convince the jury which consisted of Mr. Mahesh Bhalla, Mr. Michael Marks, Mr. Nagaraja Prakasam, Mr. M.V.S. Mani, Mr. Venugopal Ganapathy and Mr. Prajakt Raut.
After close to four hours spent listening to the pitches, Vicara Tech won and took the prize money of Rs. 5,00,000. The company is founded by two engineering college students, Adarsh Warrier and Abhishek Satish who are in their final year. The company has created a product which enables, gesture based interactions with computers. The device is worn on the hand and works using various sensors along with Bluetooth-LE connectivity. This helps overcome many of the problems that are encountered while using extremely high tech products such as the Myo Band, Kinect and Leap Motion.
Their palm-sized device essentially maps track-pad gestures to respond to hand movements and hence does not even require the developer to make any changes to their programs to enable this controller. Most of the applications that have trackpad based gesture recognition built in, would be compatible with the device from day 1.
They have gone through 7 prototypes in a short span of 7 months and during this phase have been able to perfect this device to a great extent.
The jury was unanimous in picking this company as the winner over 11 others who were the winners in their respective cities. The other companies that got mentioned by the jury were Appaie, Renaura, C9Ads and Saathi Pads.