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Prakti Design, AvantGarde get leg up from Autodesk EI programme

| Updated on: Jan 16, 2018

Encourages and supports hardware innovation that can address survival problems and improve living conditions

Since its launch in India in March this year, Autodesk Entrepreneur Impact (EI) programme has invested in six companies in India, with the most recent being Prakti Design and AvantGarde Innovations.

The programme encourages and supports hardware innovation that can address survival problems and improve living conditions. It supports social entrepreneurs to develop innovative products for solving local issues and get them to market at a faster pace.

Autodesk, a design technology firm, provides software worth $150,000 (a little over ₹1 crore) for three years to every selected start-up, mainly across sectors such as energy, water, transportation, waste, agriculture, environment, health and well being. The Nasdaq-listed company does not acquire equity in return; intellectual property also belongs to the start-ups.

“The criteria is to invest in small start-up companies, typically with less than 10 people and less than five years of operation; worldwide we are looking at more than 4,000 companies,” Jake Layes, Global Director for the EI programme at Autodesk, told BusinessLine in an interaction.

Prakti Design is a Tamil Nadu, Bommiyarpalayam-based cookstove manufacturer, which reduces indoor air pollution by up to 90 per cent. Thiruvananthapuram-based AvantGarde Innovations is into renewable energy using small wind turbines and affordable solutions.

The EI programme has also invested in Kabadiwalla Connect, a Chennai-based start-up that uses information technology to recycle waste, and Arcatron Mobility, a Pune-based firm into developing an IoT-enabled wheelchair that can be controlled using an Android app.

Bengaluru-basedFiasTech (which has developed a product that can be fitted to nozzles to save fuel) and Pune-based Cerulean Enviro Tech (a firm offering solutions in water recycling and purification) are the other start-ups which bagged the investment.

Social entrepreneurs

“Through the EI programme, Autodesk is enabling these innovators and entrepreneurs to build a better world where all can live well and within the means of the planet, specifically tailored for the needs of the Indian market,” Layes said. The programme was first launched globally in 2009, with Autodesk supporting more than 100 companies in the US and Europe. Six years later, over 3,000 start-ups in North America, Europe, Israel, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore has joined the programme.

Published on September 21, 2016
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