Tag Archives: green

InEnCy – The Energy Efficiency Business Plan Contest

IndiaCo Advisors, a Pune-based investment management firm has announced InEnCy, a business plan competition focusing on energy efficiency.

Here is the pitch:

Energy efficiency, a prime factor in India’s economic growth and sustenance, requires innovative ideas converging into practice. For the purpose of promoting Energy Efficiency ideas into viable business, IndiaCo Advisors Pvt. Ltd. is proud to present InEnCy: The Business Plan Competition.

InEnCy is a first of its kind business plan competition in India, launched by IndiaCo in January 2011. It aims at identifying potential relevant innovations that could lead to viable businesses with technological and or scientific breakthroughs to improve or revolutionize Energy Efficiency. With this focus InEnCy has been able to create a support network of industry experts, VCs & investors operating in Energy Efficiency space. The InEnCy team has made a confidant foray into the competitive field of mentoring and Guidance and plans on making InEnCy Business plan competition an annual event to be held in May each year.

Laser focused on the energy efficiency sector, this competition would give a platform to budding entrepreneurs to present their innovative business plans. Mentored by a panel of industry experts, these entrepreneurs will have the further opportunity to shape and fine tune their concepts and hence turn them into successful and thriving businesses.

One winner will be proclaimed, but many more ideas to change the world will get exposure through the competition process. At the Grand Finale on May 14th InEnCy will be showcasing the final 10 business plans/ideas; best three of which will receive exciting awards!

Fast facts:

  • Shortlisted candidates will be assigned mentors from a panel of experts.
  • Online mentoring is available if required
  • Structured and transparent mentoring process.
  • Prizes worth Rs. 5,00,000.
  • A chance to pitch for Investments from IndiaCo Energy Efficiency Fund.
  • Network access to investors, mentors and potential partners.
  • Access to technology incubators.

The last date for registering is 27th Feb, 2011. Check out the InEnCy website and get started.

PuneCleanTech Event: “BioEnergy” – The Complete Energy Solution for India – 29 Jan

PuneCleanTech and VentureCenter present a talk on BioEnergy – the complete energy solution for tropical countries, including India, by Santosh Gondhalekar, Director, Gangotree Eco Technologies.

The increasing demand and decreasing supply of fossil fuels, has resulted in increasing market price of Petrol, Diesel, LPG, Kerosene, Furnace Oil etc., in last couple of years. The situation is alarming and has created threat to ‘Energy Security’ across the globe.

Many Renewable Energy Options like Wind Energy, Solar Photovoltaic, Solar Photothermal, Tidal Power, Wave Power, Geothermal Power, Fuel Cells, etc. etc. are being tried and tested. The options in Bioenergy like BioDiesel, BioEthenol are also discussed and tested. Unfortunately, all of these options have some or the other weaknesses. In Indian context, in spite of lot of noise about above stated options, effectively as on date, the actual contribution of all Renewable Energy put together in the Mainstream Energy Supply, for India, has been less than 1% only.

Then, Is there any way out?

Yes. The solution is available that could satisfy all the Energy requirements. The key words are the ‘Green Gas’ and ‘Green Coal’. It is the Biomass based solution, based on the Elephant Grass or Napier Grass. The energy solution has been tested & certified and has capacity to substitute All Fossil Fuels.

The Energy Solution is tested comprehensively on four critical criteria viz, the ‘Technical Feasibility’, ‘Economical Viablility’, ‘Environmental Sustainability’ and ‘Social Acceptability’.

The event will be on 29th January, from 11am to 1pm, at the Venture Center, NCL Innovation Lab, Pashan Road. The event is free for all to attend. No registration required.

Tech events in Pune this weekend – 4 & 5 June

There are a number of interesting tech events in Pune today and tomorrow. Here is a brief overview of each. All of these events are free, and no registration is required.

PLUG Meet – Presentation on Unicode by G Karunakar

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 5, 4pm-6pm, 7th Floor, SICSR, Model Colony,

The Pune Linux Users Group’s monthly meeting happens on the first Saturday of every month, from 4pm to 6pm at SICSR, Model Colony. This month, the agenda includes a talk by G Karunakar on Unicode. Linux CD/DVDs will also be available at the meeting for anyone looking to install linux.

This is a great place to meet open source enthusiasts in Pune

For more details, see: http://plug.org.in

Mentoring Workshop on clean energy financing in Pune

Today, Friday, June 4, 10am-1:30pm, 1st Floor, Hotel Le Meridien

Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) is a multilateral, public-private partnership initiated by the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI) and funded by USAID. PFAN seeks to identify clean energy projects at an early stage and act as a project financing coaching and consultancy service to facilitate financial closure of such projects. After establishing dedicated in-country networks in China, Indonesia and Philippines, PFAN has now launched its services in India.

This workshop will introduce Indian clean energy entrepreneurs and stakeholders to the PFAN initiative and how they can leverage this platform to connect with investors and avail pro-bono mentoring services.


9.30 pm: Registration
10:00 am: Welcome Note, Suneel Parasnis, Team Leader – Clean Energy Finance, Contractor, USAID ECO-Asia Clean Development and Climate Program
10:10 am: Introduction to CTI-PFAN, Kavita Kaur, Country Manager – PFAN India, Contractor, USAID ECO-Asia Clean Development and Climate Program
10:30 am: MOU Signing – IT Power India and IndiaCo Ventures
11:00 am: Investor’s Expectations out of Business Plan â Rahul Patwardan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, IndiaCo Ventures
11:30 am: Tea/Coffee Break
11:45 pm: Promoting Clean Energy – R.Chandrasekhar, CEO, IT Power
12:15 pm: Components of a Good Business Plan âSuneel Parasnis, Team Leader, ECO-Asia
1:00 pm: Panel discussion
1:30 pm: Lunch

For more details see: http://www.cti-pfan.net/

PuneCleanTech meet: Energy Efficiency – Opportunities and Challenges

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 5, 11am, Venture Center, NCL Innovation Center, Pashan Road

The new gee-whiz technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels et cetera take all the limelight these days. But the fact remains that they are still a miniscule part of our energy mix and will remain so for the foreseeable future. A far bigger opportunity, however, exists all around us. There is enormous potential for making the conventional energy generation, distribution, storage and utilization much more efficient than what it is.

What is this opportunity? Where is it? How does one find it? How big is it? What can be done about it? How can it be addressed? Does anyone address it today? How do they do it? What qualifications do they need to do it?

Mr. Shishir Athale, founder of Sudnya Industrial Services, an energy services company, will discuss all these questions on June 5th, 11am at the NCL Venture Center (June 5th is also the Environment Day, a fitting coincidence!).

For more details see: http://punecleantech.com/energy-efficiency-opportunities-and-challenges/

POCC Meet: How to build a great startup team

Tomorrow, Saturday, 5 June, 4pm-7pm, 4th Floor, SICSR, Model Colony

The initial stages require only a handful of core team-members (3 to 5). These few are crucial to the success of the startup product or service. Finding these people, is one of the primary challenges facing startups today. Chetana Mehta will tackle a whole bunch of questions related to this topic. Chetana Mehta, ex-VP HR at GS Lab helped grow Persistent Systems, GS Lab when they were at a similar stage has offered to cover some aspects of nurturing and training teams.

For more details see: http://punetech.com/how-to-build-a-killer-startup-team-pocc-event-5-june/

How green will be my valley?

(This is a guest blog by Chaitanya Rajguru, Associate Technical Fellow at KPIT Cummins, and a member of the PuneChips group.)

The integrated circuit from an Intel 8742, a 8...
Image via Wikipedia

The “greening” of all things commercial and industrial is all around us. Every industry from transportation to technology to power to finance is in a rush to be perceived as “green”. So should the EDA industry stay behind? I think not. And here are my thoughts on some possible scenarios on what may happen.

So where does one begin? One good starting point may be with a popular indicator used to gauge the “goodness” of EDA tool’s output: “Quality of Results”, or QoR. QoR is used as a higher-level indicator of process quality, much like a Customer Satisfaction Index that up-levels feedback on specific aspects such as timely delivery and responsiveness. IC design EDA tools have used to showcase what they can do. So is it possible to expand its scope to include “greenness” as well? Or is it just an attempt to paint a turkey blue and pass it off as a peacock?

QoR is one of the long-lived and often-used keywords in Silicon Valley – surely on par with “information superhighway” in sheer citation count. Yet the latter phrase isn’t heard much anymore. It just reminds us of the 90’s internet boom, and doesn’t convey anything that is new today. After all, this superhighway is now as much part of our lives as electric power distribution is, and it has been a while since either created much excitement. And so is “QoR” similarly frozen in time as well, not staying up-to-date with today’s design challenges?

Let us take a quick look at how QoR has evolved over time. In the early days of IC design, the biggest challenge was to pack as many transistors onto a single die as possible. The self-fulfilling prophecy of Moore’s Law had setup expectations that somehow had to be met! And while the accompanying frequency spiral required lots of efforts to maintain, it was achievable. Thus the QoR directly reflected “transistor count” and “frequency” as the most important indicators of EDA tool capability. Other variations appeared, such as the packing density of logic and analog circuitry.

“Power” then appeared on the QoR scene, as limits of battery power and even socket power were approached by systems. Now EDA vendors could speak the language of the system architects with their “power-performance-area” optimization triangle. Higher-level performance metrics such as MIPS and FLOPS entered. Then came combinations such as “MIPS per megahertz per watt.” Thus the QoR definition expanded from the “micro” qualities to encompass the “macro”: from frequency and packing density to power and performance.

Looking at current trends in the economy, “Going Green” has taken on big importance everywhere. It is the socio-politically correct thing to do, regardless of your product or service. Companies with physical products joined the bandwagon early: building architects, automobile manufacturers, consumer electronics OEMs, and IC manufacturers. One software company that has made a start is Google, with its goal to “minimize its carbon footprint.” Other companies have been slower to adapt – maybe due to having “soft products,” or maybe because they find it hard to make the right connection into this trend. But the semiconductor industry and the EDA industry are inevitably subject to the same greening trend, and can not convincingly “opt out.”

But “Being Green” is as high-level a quality metric for an EDA product as any – so much so, that whether it even applies to EDA tools is sure to be hotly debated. Yet suppose, for a moment, that it were to be made a part of QoR, how do you think it can be done?

Initial thoughts that come to my mind suggest getting a “Green Process” certification for the EDA tool development cycle, analogous to the ISO9001 or CMMI certifications. In the future, such certifications could surely be applicable to any business or organization (maybe even an individual!), and the EDA industry would be no exception. Another possibility is to publish a “carbon footprint” or “carbon neutrality indicator.”

But the above “green indicators” apply only to the development of the EDA tools, and give no satisfactory indication of whether their use will lead to “green products”. My best suggestion so far to gauge that quality is to measure the tool performance (the fewer compute cycles it burns, the better) and its reuse (the more, the better). Reuse can be in terms of reusing the building blocks (within a project), the output (across projects) and even the hardware utilization (e.g. exploiting multicore architectures). I believe these quality measures will anyway be applied to the evaluation of EDA tools, because they also affect development cost and schedule. So one might as well explicitly go after these indicators and kill two birds in one stone!

On the downside of a green QoR, we could be chasing a red herring. Isn’t it be better to focus on the core job of the EDA tool, which is to make the design task easier? To what extent do we go in order to conform to this latest fad? And how about degrees of greenness, and who measures those? If two tool vendors claim to be green, how do I verify their claims and compare them against each-other?

So, what do you think about the “Greening of QoR?” Is it meaningful? If not, why not? And if yes, how can we go about it? It’s always fun to make predictions, so please do share yours …

About the Author – Chaitanya Rajguru

Chaitanya is an Associate Technical Fellow at KPIT Cummins Infosystems Ltd. He has extensive experience in end-to-end development of semiconductor products, from definition to production, with specialization in PC chipset, graphics and Flash memory IC products. He has played various roles such as product development lead, technical expert, people manager and organizational development facilitator.

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Hi-Tech Pune Maharashtra conference 2008 – Day 2

Hi-Tech Pune Maharastra Conference 2008

Yesterday, I live-blogged about Day 1 of this conference. That was more about the speeches given by dignitaries. Today I am attending one session, and this one promises to be more technical talks.

To refresh your memory, this is the Hi-Tech Pune Maharashtra 2008 organized by Suresh Kalmadi backed Pune Vyaspeeth, this is the 5th installment of this conference, and in addition to IT, the focus this time is on Bio-Technology and Animation. The conference is spread out over three days (18th June to 20th June) and there is a fairly interesting schedule of presentations by a diverse set of speakers.

I am live-blogging this conference so, 1) refresh on a regular basis if you’re reading this on Wednesday evening (Pune time), and 2) please excuse the terse and ungrammatical language.

I missed the morning sessions. There were two sessions on innovation (which I’m glad to have missed – I am bored of talks on innovation), one on biotech, and one that sounded very interesting – because it was case studies on animation (“Golden Compass”, “Tare Zameen Par”, “Little Krishna”) that was done out of Pune.

This is the last session of the day.

Wipro Technologies.Image via Wikipedia

First up is P.S. Narayan, Head Sustainability Practice, Wipro, talking about “Does Green make business sense?” While a lot of the talk was general Al Gore-ish “you should help the environment” lecturing, there were a few points that I found interesting.

He is making the point that Green companies perform better. There are examples of businesses who focused on energy savings and managed to not just reduce energy costs, but also improved on a bunch of other measures. Also, he is showing that green companies do better on the stock market too. I’m not sure whether this is just correlation or there was some causation involved. (I mean it is possible that companies that think about going green, are also the same ones who are smart enough to reduce their costs, and the ones who are not going green are generally the companies that are not well run.)

What is Green IT? It’s not just designing your systems to consume less power. It is also about software solutions to reduce energy consumed in other parts of your company (e.g. did you think about re-designing your supply chain to minimize energy consumption?) Also, other things like green accounting (if your accounts department kept track of energy usage in addition to simply dollars spent, that would reduce consumption. Currently, most people don’t even know the details of their consumption.)

The next up is Dr. S. Ramakrishnan, Director General, C-DAC with a talk entitled “From Innovation to Deployment: Case Studies from C-DAC”. In their Language Computing initiative they have designed more than 3000 TrueType and Unicode fonts for Indian languages. In Speech Technologies, they not only have to worry about speech-to-text of Indian languages, but also speech-to-text of Indian English! C-DAC’s ATCS (Area Traffic Control System) brings advanced concepts in traffic control to Indian conditions. It uses vehicle detectors to optimize traffic signals. These kinds of signals are only present in two place in India – Delhi (63 signals, imported from UK) and Pune (34 signals, developed by C-DAC). The signals are controlled from a central location using wireless communication – which is really good because it reduces road digging. (Anyone driving around Pune these days will know how big a deal this is.) There is also a telemedicine project but he did not get time to go into that.

Dr. Anupam Saraph, CIO of Pune, making a case for having strong IT in government in Pune. To allow growth faster than the 7% that we are currently experiencing (it should be double digits), but also to ensure that we do not run into the problems that are caused by the growth when it happens. After the initial pitch, he is jumping ahead and talking about his vision for Pune in 2015, and then following it up with the specific projects that he has initiated. He mentioned how this is a partnership between government and businesses – he sees how it is sustainable when someone is making money off these cool services. He also mentioned the Design for Pune competition (which I am working on) and PuneTech. Cool.

In the plenary session, Rohit Srivastwa, head of IT for the Commonwealth Games, and Airtight Networks, gave a talk on how information security is very important these days. He talked about ClubHack (an online community for bringing security awareness to common people). He pointed out to Anupam Saraph how some government websites had security loopholes. This led to a nice back-and-forth between the two of them about the need to balance security vs. use of new technology – a refreshing change from the blandness that afflicts other presentations. But while the session was interesting, I was not entirely sure why it was a plenary session, instead of being a presentation in one of the regular sessions.

Vijay Kumar Gautam, COO, Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010, gave a brilliant speech about the use of IT in sports, and brought out very nicely the huge difficulties involved in managing the IT for a sports event. Imagine a company that has 50,000 employees, and 1 billion customers. The company is built from scratch in 3 years, and is operational for only 3 weeks. Unlike most other IT projects, the deadline does not slip – the dates are fixed and remain fixed. Unlike most other software products, you don’t get a chance to do a bugfix or a patch release. You don’t get a chance to tune your system based on experience in the field. You don’t have an alpha or a beta release. And now imagine 10,000 journalists following your every move and ready to report on every gaffe.

He gave some idea of the complexity of the whole set up – hardware, software, processes. I’d love to get my hands on his presentation, not sure where I can get it from. They are planning on using the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune later this year as a Proof-of-Concept test ground for the system.

The most interesting thing he said was this – such games happen all the time. There are Olympics (summer/winter) every two year. There are Commonwealth or Asian games every two years. Take into account world championships and other events and you have games all the time. And, it is very difficult to find people who have the experience of building IT systems for such a requirement. And they charge astronomical rates. You should get into this business. That was the main thrust of his talk.

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