ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM & START-UP COMPETITION EFSC’17
in conjunction with
2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS’17)
Vancouver, 24 – 28 September
September 26, 2017 (tentative)
PURPOSE OF THE EVENT
To foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and
practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes in robotics and intelligent systems to
commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) is
inviting the robotics research community to participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and
Start-up Competition (EFSC) at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent
Robots and Systems (IROS’17) in Vancouver, Canada, ( ).
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.
EFSC at IROS’17 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 below).
• 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 provide critical feedback and technical and professional assistance to refine the
• The final stage would allow for the refined pitches and content to be presented in front of
a distinguished panel of industry and academic experts who have successfully funded,
transitioned and have experience in commercialization of robotics and automation
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Anyone with an idea utilizing robotics and/or automation technology that has reached
a proof of concept level is welcome to submit an application provided that the entity is
1) less than 3 years old, and 2) has not received any funding from angel investors or
venture capitalists in the last 5 years.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE?
TRAVEL SUPPORT & AWARDS
We anticipate travel support for all qualified applicants invited to IROS’17 (~$1500/team)
and awards for the top 3 finishers (pending funding approval at the time of this Call).
Qualified applicants will further receive a free mini-booth in the IROS’17 exhibition area
for an interactive presentation of their product (idea).
• Submission of Application Forms: July 24, 2017
• Announcement of Selected Applicants: Aug. 18, 2017
• Final Presentations at IROS’17: Sept. 26, 2017
Erwin Prassler (H-BRS, IEEE RAS VP for Industrial Activities)
Dominik Boesl (KUKA AG)
Jianwei Zhang (U. Hamburg)