Agnikul: ET Startup Awards 2020: Top Innovator Agnikul is ready to soar, above and beyond


For the jury of ET Startup Awards 2020, there were two favourites in the Top Innovator category – FalconX, a crypto trading platform, and Agnikul Cosmos, the space technology company looking to democratise small satellite launches.

Agnikul won, not only for innovation but also for its potential to further push India’s self-reliance in space. “It’s the star aspirations of Agnikul that’s driving it,” said a jury member.

Agnikul is looking to disrupt the small rockets space at a time when India is opening up the sector to private players.

The startup, incubated at IIT Madras in 2017, is building a small rocket with a 3D printed engine – which is lighter, has less moving parts and more efficient compared to conventional engines.

It can launch small satellites of up to 100 kg into low earth orbit. The rocket can be easily configured and kept ready for launch in a couple of weeks.

Agnikul is looking at its first launch by the end of 2022.

“We will be complementary to Isro. We are going after a market where several commercial companies are planning to launch thousands of satellites,” said Srinath Ravichandran, co-founder and CEO of Agnikul Cosmos.

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is building a smaller rocket that can carry 500 kg to space and has heavier rockets to launch satellites of up to 6 tonnes.

Ravichandran, who scoured research labs in Los Angeles – the home of Elon Musk’s rocket firm SpaceX, identified a niche to build a small rocket when he found small satellites waiting in queue for years to get a slot on Musk’s rockets.

“SpaceX was full. These small satellites were at the mercy of a large rocket to ride piggyback to space,” said Ravichandran.

“I was particularly enthused to see the number of companies being started in the space tech genre with the two winners Agnikul and Bellatrix. It’s great to see real technological innovation come out of India which is relevant on a global scale,” said jury member Satyan Gajwani, vice chairman of Times Internet.

As a foreigner, Ravichandran also knew that breaking into the US market would be tougher and that if he had to be competitive to build a small launcher, it would be in India.

He tapped Professor Satya Chakravarthy, an expert on combustors at IIT Madras, and incubated the company at its campus.

“Our aim is to launch satellites using the rocket from anywhere in the world,” said Ravichandran, who has designed a mobile launchpad that can carry the rocket.

Other Contenders

Capture

Front row – Nikhil Tripathi, Daya Rai and Jitender Bedwal; Back row – Nukul Upadhye and Mahesh Jakhotia

Bijak | Nukul Upadhye, Daya Rai, Mahesh Jakhotia, Jitender Bedwal & Nikhil Tripathi
Bijak is an agricultural commodity trading platform that seeks to bring suppliers and buyers together. It helps traders to rate and review, allowing both buyers and sellers to make informed decisions. It aims to make money via lending and logistics marketplaces.

Capture

Entropik Technology’s CEO Ranjan Kumar

Entropik Technology | Ranjan Kumar & Bharat Shekhawat
Entropik is an advanced emotion AI platform that helps brands measure the cognitive responses of consumers to various products and experiences. It makes use of proprietary technologies such as brainwave mapping, facial coding and eye tracking to uncover subconscious trends.

Capture

FalconX co-founder Raghu Yarlagadda

FalconX | Raghu Yarlagadda & Prabhakar Reddy
FalconX is a digital assettrading platform that helps clients perform complex cryptocurrency trade in real time using data science. Its goal is to eliminate slippage and hidden fees. The company’s clients include financial institutions such as hedge funds, payment gateways etc.

2222

PlayShifu co-founders – Vivek Goyal (L) and Dinesh Advani (R)

PlayShifu | Vivek Goyal & Dinesh Advani
PlayShifu creates augmented reality- based educational toys for children aged 3-11. The products are designed to stimulate foundational abilities, and build science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills through a mix of physical toys and digital platforms that interact seamlessly.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *