Kerala’s startup products have scope for global market: US expert

>>The spider-shaped machine that had its trial done in Thiruvananthapuram has immense potential to compete at the international level

Sherry LassiterThe Bandicoot robot that young engineers in Kerala developed early this year can prove to be of use not only in India but globally for cleaning manholes and sewers with precision, a top innovator from the US said today.

The spider-shaped machine that had its trial done in Thiruvananthapuram has immense potential to compete at the international level, MIT professor Sherry Lassiter, who is president of the American non-profit organisation Fab Foundation noted at a  conclave of the IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre) near Kanjirappally, 40 km east of this city.

“The next big thing in the global market will be products that come out of small inventions from developing countries such as India,” she noted on the sidelines of the day-long event organised by the Kerala Startup Mission and attended by 4,000 students keen to enhance their innovative skills, network, share ideas, form tech teams to launch businesses.

Noting that inventions that look silly keep proving tobe highly beneficial to local communities, Mrs Lassiter said India has constantly proven the use of equipment and tools from the grassroots. Such items have made it big across continents, she said at  the IEDC meet that also featured a Maker Fest which was inaugurated by Kerala IT Secretary Mr M Sivasankar.

Mrs Lassiter, as a key architect of the MIT global initiative for field onsite technology development, said Kerala had a huge talent pool in startup, going by the high quality of the models the students exhibited at the Maker Fest. “The Fab Lab’s own policy is ‘Hello World’,” noted the expert, whose foundation works with 70-plus startup firms in various countries.

All projects should benefit society, Mrs Lassiter said.

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