An important entity, iCreate in India – Israel Innovation Bridge

Over the years, iCreate has evolved as a “bridge” between “Startup Nation” Israel and India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Seeking to leverage innovative, technology-based solutions for the enduring challenges faced by India and the world, iCreate and the Israeli Innovation Authority are working together to support Israeli and Indian startups, entrepreneurs and companies in co-developing new technologies and developing mutually beneficial business ties. Together the parties also plan to assist Israeli innovators in adapting their technologies as per the requirements of the Indian market and partnering with Indian organizations to jointly exploit the resulting commercial opportunities.


In September 2017, India and Israel joined forces in order to address some of the world’s most pressing social challenges. Startup India and the Israel Innovation Authority invited entrepreneurs, startups, research teams, and people with responsive ideas, to submit their solutions to challenges in the areas of agriculture, water and digital health.  This was the start of the Israel-India Innovation Bridge which is a tech platform to facilitate bilateral co-operation between Indian and Israeli Startups, tech hubs, corporations and other key innovation ecosystem players.

The Hon’ble Prime Ministers of India and Israel launched the India – Israel Innovation Bridge on 6th July 2017 at Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel. At the end of 2017, the Platform hosted a bilateral innovation challenge calling on Israeli and Indian Startups to combine forces to develop solutions for critical challenges in agriculture, water and digital health.

Within each of these areas, two problems statements have been identified.  Winners were announced in December and presented to the PMS of both India and Israel on 17 Feb.

The first agriculture challenge aimed to attract solutions to solve the problem of post-harvest losses. The winner was Amvicube who provide intelligent IT solutions for the proper determination of the quality of rice without dehusking it. Paddy Analyser, a product they developed, helps farmers segregate the rice produce with maximum precision.

The runners up in this category were Yuktix and Amber Solutions both of whom provide alternative solutions for warehouse monitoring in order to maximise storage time of harvested produce.

On the Israeli side the challenge was won by Amaizz, an agritech company developing and providing post-harvest solutions for reducing food losses due to inefficient drying, storage, and refrigeration.

Runners up were BotanoCap who make environmentally friendly agricultural products and Biofeed who have developed a pioneering control technology that, without harming human health and the environment, enables users to continuously control pests

The second agriculture question challenged start ups to improve farmers’ income.  The winning innovation by RF Wave Technologies is a soil moisture scanner that enables effective irrigation scheduling. The technology helps maintain the prescribed water height for the plants at each growth stage and the required soil moisture.

The runners up Jagadeesh Henjarappa and Vignesh Ravichandran developed solutions to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis and scan plants to determine what course of action is required respectively.

The Israeli winner is Saillog, offering an artificial intelligence-based solution that enables farmers to identify and treat plant diseases and pests.

SupPlant who provide real-time data from all crop sensors in one, easy-to- use application and Seed Tech Temed who developed and patented a novel technology for enhancing seed germination and growth are the runners up.

The water challenges required start ups to innovate the in areas of point-of-use clean drinking water and treatment of large scale waste water.

In the drinking water category Pure Paani are an NGO who deliver portable, hand-operated filtration devices that can be used repeatedly by a traveling service provider or a ‘microentrepreneur’. By providing single-serving filtration, they will cater to low-income families that do not have access to clean drinking water.

Runners up are wOceo Water who provide drinking water solutions at 1Rs per litre in monitored household filtration machines and Karthikumar who is developing a paper which can detect the amount of contamination in drinking water.

The Israeli winning company was SunDwater who have developed a standalone distillation unit that requires no infrastructure or external energy source, and is capable of converting unsafe water or saltwater into potable water for consumption or irrigation.

Runner up Lishtot developed a water quality monitoring machine and Aquallence whose water purification systems utilize low energy and ozone technology.

The wastewater solution was innovated by Innotech Technologies Ltd who have developed a unique treatment process for waste water using bio-electrochemical systems and recovery of value-added products.

Runners up in this category were Vanita Prasad with a process of making Anaerobic Granulated Sludge and Rinaldo John who aims to provide a constructed subsurface flow wetland system, using Heliconia angusta to treat greywater.

Maagan was the winning Israeli entry to this challenge.  Maagan is a global leader in the manufacture of innovative filters whose ground breaking double fibre filters present a new approach to fine fibre filtration.

AMS Technologies who develop and market chemical- and temperature-resistant ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes and Aqua HD whose closed system captures and removes suspended solids from flowing liquid in a continuous, hydraulic manner were the runners up.

In the medical category, the first challenge asked start ups to find new solutions for real-time health monitoring, home care, remote care, periodic counselling and advice on health management for Non-Communicable Diseases.

The Indian winner was iLove9Months, a start up who have developed an app that is a one-stop for pregnant women and helps them take the right choices during those 9 months.

The runners up were Innov4sight Health and Biomedical Systems and Zeolr Technologies.  Innov4sight have created an integrated digital health platform for fertility care.  Zeolr have developed a platform which helps manage asthma and COPD management.

The second challenge was to find innovative, inclusive, low cost diagnostics and predictive solutions in rural areas.  iCreate incubate Bioscan won this category with their innovation of a non-invasive, fully computerized, and battery-operated tool for instantaneous detection of intracranial bleeding onsite.

Runners up in the category are Mercuri Technologies who have developed novel technology for quantification differentiation of DNA and Ujjwaal Bhardwaj who has a patient monitoring app whose Tuberculosis Monitoring and Encouragement Adherence Drive is aimed at patients who stop their medication midway due to various reasons.

The co creation seminar for all of the winners began on Monday and Tuesday with a programme in Delhi led by Invest India.  After being felicitated by PM Modi and PM Netanyahu on Wednesday the winning participants for the agriculture and water challenges continued their cocreation at iCreate with field visits, panels and joint cooperation whereby some agreements were reached between Indian and Israeli companies to cooperate in the future.


iCreate will be incubating the winners of the agriculture and water challenges at their business incubator and will be participating in the return trip to Israel in 6 months’ time where the results of the cooperation between the 2 nations and the start ups will begin to show fruition.

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Value, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder!

Why it is important to always keep listening to the ‘voice of the customer’


 Each time a young aspiring technology entrepreneur walks up to me and says “I have a brilliant idea that can change the world”, I start getting worried! Even a brief probe then, invariably reveals that the young aspirant wants to pursue this idea because s/he faced a certain problem and could not find a ready solution and now thinks that the solution (idea – yet to even arrive at a ‘proof-of-concept’ – PoC stage) is not only going to solve this problem but in fact, the whole world is dying for this incredible value position to arrive!

This is symptomatic of most technologists who get a ‘kick’ out of solving a technical problem and presume that there is a ready market waiting for their solution. The truth, unfortunately, is far from it! Starting out to solve a problem without listening to the ‘voice of the (potential) customer’ is a guaranteed recipe for failure. This, is in no way to undermine the brilliance and technical capabilities that the individual and the team may have in indeed building a very good product or service. However, most young entrepreneurs (especially those who start off without any work experience or exposure to the real world of business) come to discover the harsh truth after having staked considerable time, effort, and money – more importantly career opportunities – in the hope that they will become a unicorn very soon, the media will write exciting stories about them and they would have ‘arrived’ in the name and fame world.

Getting under the skin of the customer is the most crucial piece in any entrepreneurial venture -irrespective of whether it is a technology based one or not. The more the entrepreneur understands and lives through the ‘pain-point’ of the customer, the more s/he is likely to craft an appropriate value proposition for the customer. And mind you, the ‘customer’ here implies not just somebody who sees/experiences/uses the value of the solution but has both; the ability, as well as the willingness to pay for it.

Working with customers in the earlier phase of ideation and iterating to fulfilling what might be the bear minimum customer expectation, is the starting point. No product ever arrives at the ‘final version’ in one go. It is often a long, painstaking journey with multiple iterations and tweaks even before one can ‘pilot’ it on an alpha (early adapter) or a beta customer.

With ‘products’ more particularly (as opposed to services), there is an emerging concept of co-creating  – which means constantly engaging with the actual user all the time before one arrives at a reasonably acceptable PoC and probably have a few samples or mock-ups that can be ruggedly tried and tested under various user conditions. Productionising it and going-to-market is a completely different next big challenge and very complex as opposed to coming from idea-to-PoC.

My motivation to write this piece is that I increasingly find a number of bright young girls and boys wanting to ride the tech entrepreneur band wagon in haste and unrealistic hope. While it is certainly good to dream and aspire to become a successful entrepreneur someday, and make a difference to the world around us, one must tread the path with care and caution. Not every bright engineer or scientist is cut out to be an entrepreneur and neither does the ability to solve or crack a complex technical problem automatically guarantee that you turn out to be a successful entrepreneur. There is a lot more to entrepreneurship than merely being able to master technology. One must be careful not get romanticized with the idea of entrepreneurship simply because every morning newspaper carries a success story of a startup having raised millions of VC dollars or having won an award.

For now, I wish to stay with just this one message – start with the customer, and not with the technology that you think you are great at – your chances of success then, are likely to be so much better.

Written by Thyagrajan k

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The Entrepreneur in Each Child

Every child has the potential to be an entrepreneur. And, entrepreneurial skills are basically nothing bur life skills.

Contrary to popular thinking, entrepreneurial skills are not necessarily innate, but that they can be taught. The current educational system neither imparts life skills nor does it foster creativity. In fact, children are taught to focus on tasks in a set manner adhering to stipulated guidelines. Such kind of definite solution related learning does nothing but hamper enhancing life skills like independent thinking and creativity.

Young ones are blessed with the ability to dream and moreover believe in their dreams. Such strong is their belief that it enables them to push forward relentlessly, sometimes with a little motivation, to achieve their dreams. They have a solid confidence in their own abilities and a belief that anything is possible.

Exposing children to entrepreneurship enables them to develop skills like creative thinking, accountability, responsibility, networking, respecting money, fearlessness and problem-solving abilities to name a few.

When these traits are actively encouraged, it leads young children to develop their innate skills. This, in turn, helps them realize their personal potential and give them the grounding for a fulfilling career in later life. These life skills are a very important facet of an individual’s character whether they choose to become employers or employees.

The World over there are many successful kid entrepreneurs. And, parents played a very important part in their becoming successful.

Enroll your child’s name for program named “Entrepreneurial Peekabo launched by International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology  for more details, drop an email on

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iCreate at U.S.- India Business Council

The U.S.- India Business Council (USIBC) had its West Coast Summit in San Francisco on 8th May, 2017 which had American and Indian entrepreneurs and businesses taking part in it. The Summit was intended to provide an opportunity to discuss current and pertinent issues in the US-India technology partnership such as IoT, smart city planning, India’s move towards a cashless economy and the future of the US-India technological relationship and had focused on fostering initiatives for a better India.


The summit in Silicon Valley was attended by approximately 200 senior-level business leaders and investors including those from amazon, PayPal, Deloitte, facebook, iCreate, Nuveen, mastercard, Mobility Infrastructure Group, Varian Medical and Visa Inc

It also witnessed the presence of Leaders from government of India (Andhra Pradesh) Chief Minister Shri. Chandrababu Naidu, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and Ministry of Electronics and IT, Secretary Aruna Sundararjan who understand the urgency to bring about digital transformation of India. Shri. Naidu was awarded the ‘Transformative Chief Minister Award’, in recognition of his achievement in championing US- India ties in the areas of trade, politics and culture.

With a prestigious line up of speakers including government, prominent businessmen and entrepreneurial ecosystem innovators, the summit was a great success. International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate) was proud to be the knowledge partner for the summit and was represented by CEO Anupam Jalote who spoke about the importance of continuing technological innovation and the potential for Indian and American entrepreneurs to collaborate.  Mr. Jalote said: “A new wave of “deliberate entrepreneurs” are leaving corporate careers, evaluating opportunities and starting up”.  He added that the next wave of non-IT innovators will “shatter price barriers and bring solutions to the reach of millions who could not dream of them before”.

iCreate and USIBC will now embark on a journey of collaboration which brings together the best of both the worlds:  USIBC members offer access to cutting-edge technology along with capital and iCreate brings the exciting entrepreneurial spirit of Gujarat.  The innovation centre will enable start-ups and entrepreneurs to build smart cities and IoT-based solutions to meet the Indian market requirements.

This journey started in December 2016 when CISCO began its partnership with iCreate building a state of art IoT Innovation hub to develop and customize solutions for digital technologies at iCreate’s Ahmedabad campus.  Mr. John Chambers, USIBC Chairman and Cisco Executive Chairman said: “An institution like iCreate taps into the entrepreneurial spirit of Gujarat, providing the younger generation with opportunities for employment and financial prosperity. Following Cisco’s partnership with iCreate, I am pleased to be part of the innovation and entrepreneurship dialogue between USIBC and iCreate”.


With a unique, world class and brand-new facility in the heart of Gujarat, the heartland of Indian entrepreneurs, iCreate is perfectly positioned to be the ecosystem leader and spearheads the efforts to integrate American and Indian technologies to burst price points and produce en-masse the products required to bring socio-economic and environmental change to India.


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