Apply Now! Entrepreneurship Forum & Start-up Competition application deadline is 20 August 2015

We're excited to announce that the Entrepreneurship Forum & Start-up Competition (EFSC) at IROS'15 will provide travel support for all finalists, and prizes for the top 3 finishers, totaling $45k. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to be mentored and evaluated by a distinguished panel of coaches and judges in a forum where you can fine-tune and pitch your ideas at one of the premier conferences of robotics and automation. We look forward to receiving your application.

1 October 2015
2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'15)

In the last few years, entrepreneurship in robotics and automation has received renewed interest due to several high profile acquisitions (e.g. Amazon's $775 million acquisition of Kiva Systems in early 2012 and Google's acquisition of eight robotics companies in late 2013) among other success stories (e.g. DJI valued at $8 billion as of May 2015). To foster the entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a platform to encourage researchers and practitioners to transition ideas and prototypes to commercializable products, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) is inviting the robotics and automation community to participate in an Entrepreneurship Forum and Start-up Competition (EFSC) at the 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'15) in Hamburg (

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. Previous IEEE RAS events centered on the entrepreneurship topic have been held at IROS'13 (Tokyo) and IROS'14 (Chicago) and served as starting points for discussions on identifying gaps and building bridges between industry, academia, government, and end-users (see and

EFSC at IROS'15 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 critique, and provide technical and professional assistance to refine the idea/product pitches.
* The final stage would allow for the refined pitches and content to be presented in front of a distinguished panel of venture capitalists, industry, and academic experts who have successfully funded, transitioned and have experience in commercialization of robotics and automation technologies.

Anyone with an idea or a prototype/product utilizing robotics and/or automation technology is welcome to submit an application provided that the entity is 1) less than 2 years old, and 2) has not received any funding from angel investors or venture capitalists in the last 5 years.

Interested applicants should complete the Application Form available for download from
Please email completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We anticipate travel support for all qualified applicants invited to IROS'15 in addition to awards for the top 3 finishers (totaling $45k). We gratefully acknowledge the support from IEEE and KUKA.

* Submission of Application Forms: 20 August 2015
* Announcement of Selected Applicants: 1 September 2015
* Final Presentations at IROS'15: 1 October 2015

posted17 August 2015



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