Maker Mela opens registrations for participation in their third Edition!

What is riidl? Why was riidl started?

riidl (Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory) is an initiative by Somaiya Vidyavihar to encourage entrepreneurship amongst its’ Students, Faculty, Staff & Alumni.

riidl was started with a vision to identify and accelerate exceptional teams, who have groundbreaking ideas and a potential to create wealth & opportunities for the betterment of society.

riidl supports the creation and incubation of early-stage companies by providing entrepreneurship education, intellectual property protection, space and infrastructure, access to business support services, digital fabrication, IT, go-to-market strategies, early-seed capital, and mentorship.

With its interdisciplinary approach riidl engages the vast pool of SVV’s faculty, students, alumni and external networks to provide the education, experiences, and resources that students need to become innovators and empowers them to change the world around them.   We help entrepreneurs to convert their ideas into becoming successful and profitable ventures by supporting them in Business Planning, mentoring, developing their products, getting early-stage seed funding.

riidl serves students across Somaiya Vidyavihar’s 34 institutions, more than 39,392 students and 1,500 plus faculty in Mumbai and rural areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra. External start-ups must have faculty, alumni, students or staff on the founding team.

riidl comprises of a Technology Business Incubator (TBI, supported by Somaiya Vidyavihar and Department of Science & Technology, Government of India), a Fablab (an initiative of Center for Bits and Atoms, MIT USA) and a DIY Biolab.

How it has progressed in three years, this being the third edition of Maker Mela?

The number of Maker registrations has increased every year.  In 2015, the 1st year, we received around 200 registrations out of which we shortlisted top 100, in our 2nd edition we got 347 registrations, whereas in our third edition which is scheduled from 11th to 13th January 2018 we have received an overwhelming response of 781 registrations, out of which we have shortlisted 100.

The response of Makers from across India is matched by the increasing response of others in the ecosystem – visitors, investors, colleges, institutions, innovation and start-up organizations, government bodies from India and abroad.

What are the changes that you have seen in the makers?

Ever since the inception of Maker Mela we have seen a diverse range of makers,

Maker Mela has brought together scientists, engineers, technocrats with experts, artists and

craftsmen across the country to present their applications of ideas and explore how

they can work together. This year we have attracted young talent, 10-year-old Armaan Gupta who is a student of the Somaiya School, created a mopping and cleaning device and is being incubated at riidl.

Whereas the star maker Shiv Gupta has already received global accolades for Future Innovation Award in Costa Rica last week. Team G-Force from India won the award at the World Robot Olympics (WRO) 2017. For inventing ‘Trail on’ a mechanism that helps two cars run on only one engine will also showacse his innovation at Maker Mela as a star Maker.

This year we have invited international star makers such as Sophia Georgiou and Liz Arum from NYC for their project Morphi, a simple, powerful 3D design application for 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality and stop motion. Morphi is used by people of all ages and skill levels in over 100 countries across 6 continents to create inventions, design products and teach STEAM subjects in K-12 (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math).

We have some eminent speakers at Maker Mela this year such as Hon. Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu, Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, Hon. Union Minister of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, Founder & Co-President at Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs India, Ms. Paula Mariwala, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ms. Ada Yonath, Child prodigy and the youngest IBM Watson Developer, Mr. Tanmay Bakshi. 

What has been the impact on the life of maker?

We believe that just the participation, or even visiting makes an impact on the Makers. From getting inspired by other’s stories to learning from other’s mistakes; finding collaborators to finding people with similar concepts; from being scared to attend to walking out with a dream each impact on the Maker is valuable.

The human mind is such that when given nourishment it naturally flourishes, and the vibe and enthusiasm during the three days sees the Maker’s looking at themselves, their project and the world around them with new eyes.

From a business perspective, somestartupss have had life changing opportunities become possible.   Since the inception of Maker Mela, several startups have been incubated out of which several have also received funding from investors, to name a few, the project, ‘Square Off’ (an Automated chess board ) made a students from KJ Somaiya College of Engineering launched a campaign on (Crowdfunding website) for a period of 45 days. The most amazing part of it was they got fully funded within seven days of their campaign run. And not only this, but they also won a lot of prestigious awards. Total investments raised – $1 mn

Another startup ‘Offee’ (offline education and entertainment system) created by an alumni of KJ Somaiya College of Engineering managed to raise Rs 50lacs from investors, He was invited to

present the concept to our Honourable railway minister Shri. Suresh Prabhu and our Honourable CM Shri. Devendra Fadnavis.

Engineering student from K J Somaiya College, Chintan Shah’s start up ‘Wohlig’ a service based software/app development with15 employees, graduated from our incubator in 2015. ‘Wohling’ got acquired and renamed to Blazen technology and raised an invesment of 40cr.

Another startup, ‘My cute office’ which about Office space aggregation, by Abhishek Barari a student of Mithibai College raised $120k angel investment through Lead Angels.

What has been the response of investors and corporates

We had a lot of mentors and investors visiting our event last year as speakers. Hence this year we thought of organizing a pitching session for our makers on 11th January, 2018. Please find attached a document which has all the details of the pitching session.

Last year we had a distinguished panel of Investors and mentors who will be on the Jury Panel of our pitching session this year.Mr. Manish Advani: TEDx Speaker, Award Winning Story Teller and Song Writer, and Head of Marketing & Public Relations at Mahindra SSG

Mr Vikash Mittersen: CMD of Nazara Technologies / President of India Business Group / Author of YOU CEO / TEDx Speaker. Dr Apoorv Sharma: Angel Investor, Cofounder & President of Venture Catalysts and Charter Member at TiE Mr Prakash Patel: CMD, Bhumi World Industrial Park.

What has been govt response and global response?

The Government has been extremely supportive of our Maker movement. We have received a confirmation from Hon Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis to attend our event as Guest of Honour. We have also got verbal confirmation from Vice President of India. We have

Received patronage support from Startupindia and UNESCO.

We are in talks with

  • Skill development
  • National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

We just have to give them two maker stalls wherein govt will get ten kids to display their innovations, they will also help us in inviting skill India directors and other govt officials during MakerMela. 

What are the interesting projects and what are going to be the highlights this year?

There are too many, but a few that come to my mind is one made by 10-year-old Armaan Gupta

Who has created a remote-controlled Cleaning and Moping machine which also dries the surface simultaneously? It has detachable sponges for its maintenance. He’s also the youngest member of riidl.Another Maker is from Ahmedabad, 45year old Hitesh Parikh, who has created the plantable paper which can grow into a plant when discarded. It promotes the idea of 3R’s reduce, recycle and reuse.

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