[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] Entrepreneurship Forum & Start-up Competition (EFSC) @ IROS'15 (October 01, 2015)

Raj Madhavan madhavan.ieeeras at gmail.com
Mon Jul 20 20:18:54 PDT 2015

October 01, 2015
2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 

Raj Madhavan, IEEE RAS VP, Industrial Activities Board, Erwin Prassler, 
runfun Inc., Germany and Oliver Brock, Technische Universität Berlin, 

In the last few years, entrepreneurship in robotics and automation has 
received renewed interest due to several high profile acquisitions (e.g. 
Amazon’s $775 million acquisition of Kiva Systems in early 2012 and 
Google’s acquisition of eight robotics companies in late 2013) among 
other success stories (e.g. DJI valued at $8 billion as of May 2015). To 
foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage 
researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes to 
commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society 
(IEEE RAS) is inviting the robotics and automation community to 
participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) 
at the 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and 
Systems (IROS’15) in Hamburg (http://iros2015.org/).

The event is intended to inspire, educate, enable, and empower 
researchers, students, young professionals, and anyone else who has the 
'start-up bug' in starting companies of their own but is not sure of how 
to go about it. We also believe that this event will create an ecosystem 
that will provide the much-needed support for start-ups to launch their 
initiatives while being realistic about their envisioned ideas and 
products. Previous IEEE RAS events centered on the entrepreneurship 
topic have been held at IROS'13 (Tokyo) and IROS'14 (Chicago) and served 
as starting points for discussions on identifying gaps and building 
bridges between industry, academia, government, and end-users (see 
http://www.iros2013.org/industry-forum.html and 

EFSC at IROS'15 will consist of three stages:
* In the first stage, submitted applications will be down-selected to 
arrive at a pool of qualified applicants based on a defined set of 
criteria developed by the organizers (see 'Application Form' information 
* This will be followed by a remote stage where the selected applicants 
will be paired with coaches based on the proposal content and the 
expertise of the coaches. The coaches will then critique, and provide 
technical and professional assistance to refine the idea/product pitches.
* The final stage would allow for the refined pitches and content to be 
presented in front of a distinguished panel of venture capitalists, 
industry, and academic experts who have successfully funded, 
transitioned and have experience in commercialization of robotics and 
automation technologies.

Anyone with an idea or a prototype/product utilizing robotics and/or 
automation technology is welcome to submit an application provided that 
the entity is 1) less than 2 years old, and 2) has not received any 
funding from angel investors or venture capitalists in the last 5 years.

Interested applicants should complete the Application Form available for 
download from 
Please email completed forms to <iros2015.efsc at gmail.com >.

We anticipate travel support for all qualified applicants invited to 
IROS'15 (~$1500/team) and awards for the top 3 finishers (pending 
funding approval at the time of this Call).

* Submission of Application Forms: August 20, 2015
* Announcement of Selected Applicants: Sept. 01, 2015
* Final Presentations at IROS'15: October 01, 2015

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