Soon after assuming office, Kerala (southern state of India) Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan kicked up a storm by publicly supporting the Athirappilly hydro electric project, which environmentalists said, if implemented, would create ecologic imbalance in the area and destroy the Athirappilly waterfalls, the largest natural waterfalls in the state.
It is not that the government is oblivious to the impact that the project could make, but it says it has no option but to leverage existing means to check the growing power crisis in Kerala, which partially depends on the private sector for electricity.
Things are no different in other states either. While Kerala has attained almost 100 per cent electrical coverage, many parts of India still remain in the dark. For a large portion of the Indian population, electricity to this day remains a distant dream.
Enter two siblings who want to make India’s energy crisis a thing of the past. The duo has developed a new solution they say will not even slightly impact the ecological balance.
Avant Garde Innovations, the startup founded by siblings Arun and Anoop George from Kerala, has come up with a low-cost wind turbine that can generate enough electricity to power an entire house for a lifetime. The size of a ceiling fan, this wind turbine can generate 5 kWh/kW per day — with just a one-time cost of US$750.
“Our goal is to eliminate energy poverty, reduce dependence on struggling state power grids and create energy self sufficiency for all the needy ones through distributed, localised and affordable renewable energy. In doing so, we believe we can collectively usher in our world a cleaner environment, new economic prosperity and social change,” reads the company ‘What We Do’ statement.
“Our first offering is a highly affordable small wind turbine suitable for residential, commercial, agricultural, village electrification and other uses, which is aimed for a market launch during 2016.”
Incorporated in 2015, Avant Garde claims to be a startup with a ‘green’ heart and soul.
For the startup, opportunity is massive. India is the world’s sixth largest energy consumer, accounting for 3.4 per cent of global energy consumption. Federal governments in India, and the central government for that matter, are unable to bear the huge infrastructural cost required to bring electricity to remote villages.
Erecting electric posts and electric lines require huge investments that could cost millions of dollars.
This is where Avant Garde comes into picture. “When small wind turbine generating 1kW energy costs INR 3-7 lakh (US$4,000-10,000), our company plans to sell it at less than NR 50,000 (about US$750). Costs will decrease further through mass production,” Arun said in an interview to The Times of India.
The company launched its pilot project at a church in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram in January this year. The small wind turbine prototype that it has developed is highly scalable for power capacities of 300 kW or even higher, Arun told e27.
“Our passionate aim is to introduce innovative, affordable and sustainable solutions that take renewable energy self sufficiency and energy empowerment to the next level through a distributed and decentralised approach using pioneering strategies the world has not witnessed yet,” the company says.
This revolutionary product has also won them a spot in the Top 20 Cleantech Innovations in India. The company has also made it to the list of 10 clean energy companies from India for the “UN Sustainable Energy For All” initiative under the one billion dollar clean energy investment opportunity directory.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the country ranks 4th in terms of global installed wind power capacity, after China, the US, and Germany.
Maybe, if Avant Garde Innovations takes off, Kerala can keep the Athirappilly waterfalls untouched.
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This year, Entrepreneurship Cell IIT Kharagpur and IBM are proud to present Empresario 2016 in association with the prestigious International Business Model Competition (IBMC) which is co-hosted by Stanford, Harvard and Brigham University. The best entries in all categories will get an opportunity to participate directly in the semi-final rounds of IBMC 2017, which will be conducted abroad. ((Visit www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario for more details). The prizes and services for the winners as per last year are worth 25 lacs INR.
The shortlisted entries are provided immense help in terms of mentorship and the winners also get a much sought after chance to pitch their ideas in front of some of India’s biggest VCs and investors. Empresario participants are mentored and supported by organisations like TiE, NEN(National Entrepreneurship Network) with honorable mentions to http://www.constantprofitsecrets.com/the-four-percent-group-review/, etc. Startup Services like legal advice, taxation, financial, technical aspects of running a startup, co-working space, HR needs, incubation opportunities, etc. are provided.
Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur is a student organisation established with the aim of fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among college students in India. We are one of the most successful entrepreneurial organisations in the country with over 50 start-ups incubated within 8 years of our inception. We are playing a vital role in developing the upcoming startups into successful companies by taking a great initiation of conducting flagship competition namely Empresario, our Annual and India’s only Global Business Model Competition.
It has been observed that startups with static business plans fail miserably since reality does not conform to their assumptions. Hence, there is a need for a more dynamic methodology while starting up and this is why the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur sought to undertake a Business Model competition, which was entitled ‘Empresario’
Empresario accepts business ideas in all fields which include Product and Service, Product Design and Social categories. Each of the entries get equal opportunity to win the prize and incubation money to the tune of INR 2.5 crore.. Previously, Empresario has been launched in association with TiE Kolkata, Mahindra Spark the Rise and Dell Social Innovation Challenge.
Empresario is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only way to test whether those guesses are correct is to “get outside the building” and validate their idea with customer feedback. A business model is designed to change rapidly to reflect what you find outside the building in talking to customers. It’s more visual, dynamic and it reflects the iterative reality that startups face.
For the first round of Empresario, we will require participants to fill up a questionnaire asking in brief about their Business idea and submit it. This questionnaire can be found on our website www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario . If participants register now, they can avail the Early Bird privileges, which include extended mentoring and offline mentoring session.
One of the winners of Empresario’14, Betaglide also secured the largest funding among all the startups present at Rice Business Plan Competition of around $1 million.
Some of the past student startups who were winners of Empresario are:-
- BetaGlide – A startup by students of IIT Kharagpur, is a mobile app testing platform that allows developers to gather information in real-time about the system usage and the behavior of their app to improve its stability and performance. It has recently won the Tech Transfer Prize (Mercury Fund Prize) at Rice Business Plan Competition and became popular internationally.
- Roof For Two – A startup by a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a unique concept that can help solve the age-old problem of two-wheeler riders who ride daily through rain, sun and the cold. Roof for Two eliminates travel irritation with an affordable and stylish riding canopy.
- COEO Labs – An IIT Kharagpur based startup focused on developing innovative and low cost medical technology products. Their device Saans catapulted them to winning Empresario, Social Track and there was no stopping them following that. After winning the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge and Master Plan, Social Track at IIM-A, they also went on to the finals of the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).
We conduct our flagship event – Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), the largest collegiate entrepreneurial summit in India every year in January. The final rounds of Empresario 2017 will be held during GES’17.
Courtesy : Feritta Artiste Feritta
An exciting 3-day platform aimed at attracting over 7,000 attendees, including startups, leading technology providers, investors, thought leaders and influencers
21-23 November, Bengaluru
Click Here for the Preliminary Brochure
India’s ‘Plastic Man’ and His Incredible Innovation
Did you know that an Indian has already invented a method to convert hazardous plastic waste into roads? Unfortunately, his achievement has neither been appreciated nor remembered by our government.
R Vasudevan, the ‘Plastic-Man’ of India is a Maduari-based chemistry professor. He came up with an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads. The roads also show greater resistance to damages caused by water during rains.
Sadly, our own country did not take him seriously, and now the Netherlands is testing his idea and constructing roads using his patented technology. The technique will involves molding of plastic waste using blue metal into pre-fabricated bricks. These bricks help to build roads quickly.
This system will not only help to use up dangerous plastics for a good cause, but also allow roads to be built quickly. The plastic also provides durability to the roads as well as lightens the surface load as plastic is lighter than traditional road material. The maintenance cost will also be lower compared to asphalt roads. As per The Guardian, these roads are also hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface. Sections can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed, reducing on-site construction, while the shorter construction time and low maintenance will mean less congestion caused by roadworks. Lighter materials can also be transported more efficiently.
India needs such innovations to tackle its mounting environmental and infrastructure problems. It is surprising that no mainstream media channel has tried to highlight this novel innovation yet.
Courtesy : Tusna Park