T-Hub and AWS Support the Next Frontier of Drone Technology with Accelerator Program

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– India’s first ever Drone-Tech Accelerator Program, a collaboration between Telangana State Innovation Cell, T-Hub, AWS, and Intel, received over 300 applications from startups.

India, 6th February 2023: T-Hub, a facilitator of innovation and startup communities that helps entrepreneurs thrive through effective global partnerships, has chosen 10 startups to participate in the AWS-Intel Innovation Pod for Drone-tech Accelerator program, India’s first accelerator program dedicated to drone technology. The program, organized by T-Hub and Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC) with the support of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel, received over 300 applications from drone technology startups from cities across India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

The accelerator program, which began in July 2022, equips startups with the necessary tools and expertise to advance the use of drone technology in India. Its objectives include addressing various use cases, such as 360-degree aerial surveys, live feed recording, and geospatial analysis, in industries like defense, space, national security, healthcare, public safety, transportation, transit, citizen engagement, and agriculture, among others. T-Hub selected 10 startups, specializing in drone technology solutions, to participate in the program, including 10 Infinite, Akin Analytics, Daybest Research, Drogo Drones, Indrones, Oplus Innovation, Senseacre Labs, Vecros Technologies, Vyomik Drones, and Yaralava Technologies.

MSR (Mahankali Srinivas Rao), CEO of T-Hub, said, The rise of drone tech startups has increased in India over the last three years, and we believe that if entrepreneurs passionate about drone tech are supported now, India can take the leading position in this space in the future. T-Hub has helped equip entrepreneurs to create new jobs, market their products and solutions, and generate funding. Through the AWS-Intel Innovation Pod for drone acceleration, we will stay focused on supporting startups in the drone tech space with multiple elements like product design leveraging technical and subject matter advisory from AWS, go-to-market strategies and investment pitches. 

Dr. Shanta Thoutam, Chief Innovation Officer to Government of Telangana, said, “The AWS-Intel Drone Tech Innovation Pod stands as a testimony to the community that is truly inclusive in supporting startups from various sectors. TSIC is elated to collaborate with T-Hub to enable connections across government departments   for cohort startups to work on public sector challenges. We also successfully facilitated more than 10 startup-government interactions resulting in two pilot procurement orders to date, and will continue to support and connect more startups with relevant government departments. We believe that when government departments and startups work together to address a problem, the impact on society can be multiplied.”

Deepti Dutt, Head of Strategic Initiatives – Public Sector at AWS India and South Asia, said, “We are delighted to support the Telangana government with the AWS-Intel Drone Tech Innovation Pod to nurture India’s startups that are solving public sector issues across the subcontinent using drone technology. Our program AWS Startup Ramp supports startups through better adoption of AWS technologies, cloud credits, mentorship and customer outreach to rapidly innovate and scale. We are happy to help India’s drone startups accelerate and achieve impactful outcomes in this emerging field.”

The 10 selected startups for the AWS-Intel Innovation Pod for Drone-tech Accelerator program run by T-Hub and Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC) were given multiple opportunities for growth. They were able to pitch to program partners for paid or unpaid pilots in use cases such as enhanced surveillance, crop health management, and parking management. The startups were also trained and mentored in product design, sales conversion, branding, pitch refinement, and financial modeling. Additionally, they were given access to the AWS Startup Ramp Program and offered AWS Promotional Credits for technology and services.

The five-month accelerator program provided startups with workspace, support from value partners, and opportunities to interact with grassroot level stakeholders. The comprehensive curriculum, expert guidance, and market scaling opportunities helped refine the startups’ innovations. They also had the chance to co-create proof of concepts with state and local governments to explore new use cases for their products and drone solutions.

Certified industry mentors, including Manoj Badagharwala, Vijetha Shastry, Rathnakar Samavedam, Santosh Sharma, Aneel Mitra, Verdentum, The Philosopher’s Stone, and Anthill ventures, guided the startups through the program. The closing event was attended by leaders from AWS, Intel, selected startups, government officials, including Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of Information Technology for the Government of Telangana, and other dignitaries.

T-Hub has a strong ecosystem of partners and has impacted over 1,800 startups in India through programs such as investment opportunities, sector-specific accelerators, innovation challenges, and access to corporate memberships. The organization has over 600 global and national corporate partners for startup networking and interactions and provides 2,000 mentor connections to help startups scale.

Testimonials from the startups:

Rahul Pinnamaneni, Founder of Drogo Drones, said, “All the stakeholders spent a good time mentoring the startups and helped us scale faster. TSIC and T-Hub connected us with various departments that were really helpful. They opened doors for us that usually take longer to open.”

Janaki P, Founder of Akin Analytics, said, “Startups’ journeys are risky and full of unknowns, and startup founders are in the business of convincing everyone that they are going to be a big success. The Drone Accelerator Program by T-Hub, AWS, and TSIC is an excellent DeepTech program for any startup in this sector. We were connected to relevant mentors and gained many insights from them in designing our startup roadmap and finances. We were also connected to stakeholders like the state governments who supported our pilot projects, including the Ganesh Visarjan Event of Telangana.”