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Pune drone startup wins top innovation prize in global contest

The company, located at Bhau Institute, College of Engineering Pune (COEP) campus, has developed a software that works across off-the-shelf drones from various vendors, enables intelligent fleets and seamless integration with business applications.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2019 14:15 IST
Namita Shibad
Namita Shibad
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pune,Innovation Prize,Drone startup
FlytBase offers software solutions to businesses that wish to use autonomous fleets of intelligent drones for a variety of enterprise applications. (HT File Photo)

FlytBase Labs, a Pune-based commercial drone software company, has won the top innovation prize in an international contest which saw the participation of 401 startups from 18 countries.

The grand finale of NTT (Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) Data Open Innovation Contest 9.0 was held in Tokyo on March 13-14 in which the city-based FlytBase was declared as the grand champion. The final results were tweeted by Zamma, head of Open Innovation at NTT Data, on the handle @NTTDATA_OI.

Achal Negi, head, business development at FlytBase, said, “After winning the regional round held in Pune earlier this year, we pitched our company alongside the other regional winners from across the world. There were many categories that the NTT Data contest focused on - such as social innovation, healthcare and life sciences, finance and insurance, automotive and IoT (Internet of Things). We are proud to be declared the grand champion across all categories.”

FlytBase offers software solutions to businesses that wish to use autonomous fleets of intelligent drones for a variety of enterprise applications.

The company, located at Bhau Institute, College of Engineering Pune (COEP) campus, has developed a software that works across off-the-shelf drones from various vendors, enables intelligent fleets and seamless integration with business applications. “So, whether you want a drone to inspect a wind turbine, check a cellphone tower, or count inventory in a warehouse, our software is capable of working across different use-cases,” said Negi.

For identifying promising startups from India, NTT Data had tied up with the Pune chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), an international association of Indian entrepreneurs which mentors startups.

During the regional round in January, Kiran Deshpande, president TiE Pune had, said, “Globally 18 countries have participated in the Open Innovation Contest 9.0 and 401 startups registered. Out of these, 91 were from India itself. Out of the 91, only 11 startups were shortlisted for the regional finale.”

FlytBase was announced as the winner of the regional round after a gruelling pitch session before the jury members that comprised NTT Data’s Head of Open Innovation and Business Incubation Kotaro Zamma; senior expert Kaz Okada and TiE Pune mentors, Ajay Bhagwat, Satish Dhupdale and Revant Bhate.

First Published: Mar 17, 2019 12:02 IST