Call for Applications! ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM & START-UP COMPETITION 2016

Competition to be held in conjunction with 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'16) http://iros2016.org/index.php/program/entrepreneurship-forum-start-up-competition

PURPOSE OF THE EVENT
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 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS'16) in Daejeon, South Korea (http://www.iros2016.org/).

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'16 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.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
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 3 years old, and 2) has not received any funding from angel investors or venture capitalists in the last 5 years.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE?
Interested applicants should complete the Application Form available for download from http://www.iros2016.org/entrepreneurship_forum.html.
Please email completed forms toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TRAVEL SUPPORT & AWARDS
We anticipate travel support for all qualified applicants invited to IROS'16 (~$1500/team) and awards for the top 3 finishers (pending funding approval at the time of this Call). Qualified applicants will further receive a free mini-booth in the IROS'16 exhibition area for an interactive presentation of their product (idea).

IMPORTANT DATES
Submission of Application Forms: 15 July 2016
Announcement of Selected Applicants: 19 August 2016
Final Presentations at IROS'16: 12 October 2016

For more information see: http://www.iros2016.org/entrepreneurship_forum.html

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