Industry

Autodesk to fuel hardware start-ups

Autodesk Inc., the maker of architectural and engineering design software used to build New York's Freedom Tower, Tesla cars and for providing special effects in Hollywood blockbuster ‘Avatar’, is launching an ‘Entrepreneur Impact Program’ for hardware start-ups in India.

Clean technology

The California-based firm with a market value of about $13 billion said that it is scouting for companies in areas such as clean technology and which are creating a social impact. Its programme would provide software worth $150,000 ( about Rs 1 crore) for a period of three years as well as training and help these firms to take their products to the market. “We don't take any equity unlike others and the intellectual property belongs to the start-ups,” said Navin Kumar, entrepreneur impact programme manager at Autodesk.

Autodesk said it is in advanced discussions to select Bengaluru-based FiasTech for the programme. The firm has developed a product which when installed in fuel nozzles saves oil drops that usually fall on the ground during refuelling of vehicles at gas stations. “It is not a loss for the oil companies, they don't care about it. But on a global level it is a huge waste,” said Fazle-Imdad Shirpurwala, 31, founder at FiasTech. He said that this led to about 22 crore litres of fuel worth Rs.1,300 crore beingwasted in India per year.

FiasTech had initially created a nozzle which would prevent fuel drops falling on the ground. But when he pitched the product to oil companies, they were not interested in replacing their existing dispenser as it came with a warranty. “We then built an external kit which can be installed in any fuel nozzle without hampering the warranty,” said Mr.Shirpurwala.

And this is where Autodesk aims to play a role for companies like FiasTech which may not have resources to test the products in the market. Its software would help them to simulate products on a computer said Mr. Kumar of Autodesk.

Useful for prototype

“Their (Autodesk) technology will help us prototype and iterate on our products quickly and efficiently,” said Siddharth Hande, 28, founder of Kabadiwalla Connect, a Chennai-based start-up which has already been selected for Autodesk's entrepreneurship programme. It would use their software to build products like storage units made out of recycled material.

Autodesk has also selected Arcatron Mobility which is building products like shower wheelchair and smart care robot to improve lives of elderly and mobility impaired individuals. The firm is using Autodesk's software to improve the product design by modelling and testing it in a virtual environment.

“This would save us tons of costs and time,” said Ganesh Sonawane, co-founder of Pune-based Arcatron. In the same city, Autodesk has also enrolled Cerulean Enviro Tech for the programme.

The firm recycles used water from places such as bathroom sinks.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 8:02:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/autodesk-to-fuel-hardware-startups/article8573139.ece

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