2018 | Entrepreneurship Forum and Startup Contest at the upcoming IROS

IROS 2017 Crowd at session

2018 | Entrepreneurship Forum and Startup Contest at the upcoming IROS

by Tamás Haidegger

The IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Systems is an annual flagship conference co-sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS). This year’s event will focus on the collaboration between humans and robots on the society level. Entrepreneurship and innovation is a core of the robotics domain, and this year again, an Entrepreneurship Forum and Startup Contest (EFSC 2018) will be organized at IROS to foster that entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes to commercializable products. The people behind the program are Erwin Prassler (H-BRS/runfun, IEEE RAS past VP for Industrial Activities, Germany), Jon Agirre (Tecnalia, Spain), Fabio Bonsignorio (HERON Robots, Italy) and Renaud Champion (Primnext, France).

“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’18 consists of three stages. In the first stage, applications will be reviewed and down-selected to create a group of entrepreneurs who fit the criteria developed by the organizers. Next, there is a remote stage, where selected applicants will be paired with coaches who will help them to improve their products and their pitches. Finally, the pitches will be presented at IROS in front of a distinguished panel of venture capitalists and industry experts.

You can find out more information on this event, including application deadlines and how to participate, on the IROS’18 website.

There is more to come at IROS for entrepreneurs! There will be altogether a record of 10 challenges on specific topics ranging from aerial manipulation to minesweeping, were teams can showcase their newest designs and prototypes. The regular Industrial Forum and exciting keynote presentations from leading experts will also be part of the program in Madrid. We hope to see you at this amazing event!

Follow this and similar activities via the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS).