5 Corporate Programs at T-Hub that Drive Corporate Innovation

At a time when startups are driving major innovations across industries, large corporates are forging collaborations with the former, acknowledging them as potential partners. T-Hub’s Corporate Innovation Team is prioritising innovation by bringing together corporates and startups to co-create innovative solutions by leveraging cutting edge technologies. Since the time of T-Hub’s inception in 2016, various corporate partnerships have been launched that has resulted in creating a dedicated and viable platform to facilitate collaborations between established corporates and nimble startups.

This week, let us look at five such corporate innovation programs at T-Hub that are leveraging DeepTech to change India’s innovation landscape.

1. OTIS Innovation Challenge

American tech conglomerate United Technologies’ Otis Elevator Co tied up with T-Hub to launch the Otis Innovation Challenge. The global competition called for entries from startups to provide smart and scalable technology-led solutions such as cameras, sensors, real-time traffic and weather data, to improve the efficiency and utilisation of Otis products (elevators, escalators, travellators). Through this challenge, Otis sought to enhance its digital ecosystem to improve customer satisfaction.

The challenge presented a win-win situation for both the corporate, Otis, as well as the startups that participated in the competition. While T-Hub provided a platform for Otis to find distinct and advanced DeepTech solutions employing low-cost general-purpose computing, sensing, and connectivity hardware, the startups, too, benefited from this opportunity. The top 5–6 startups selected through this program got an opportunity to develop proof of concept (PoC) and prioritise the solution at the Otis facility in Hyderabad. Each startup also received funding up to $10K and showcased PoC to key executives of UTC during the ‘Demo Day’. This corporate program gave the startups access to T-Hub’s larger ecosystem that consists of mentors, industry experts, investors and service providers, among others.

2. Boeing Horizon India Innovation Challenge 1.0

In recognition of India’s burgeoning aerospace industry, T-Hub partnered with Boeing to launch the HorizonX India Innovation Challenge 1.0. The primary objective of the competition was to discover and accelerate potentially transformative aerospace innovation from India. Boeing invited seed-stage tech startups to offer original and disruptive solutions to tackle complex challenges in the aerospace market, such as autonomous and unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, industrial IoT (IIoT), analytics, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning. Entrepreneurs were invited to present ideas on select themes such as drones and data application, factory productivity, aircraft maintenance and services, and passenger experience, among others.

After the finalists presented their innovations on Demo Day, three startups were selected to participate in a three-month accelerator program at T-Hub. The startups worked side-by-side with Boeing’s research and technology centre to refine their ideas and develop scalable solutions. The winning startups also gained access to mentors from Startup India, Boeing subject matter experts and industry experts. Additionally, each startup also received $10K and an opportunity to partner with Boeing for future projects.

3. Smart City Smart Building NanoAccelerator®

T-Hub partnered with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) to invite startups working in the video analytics solutions space to participate in the Smart City/Smart Building NanoAccelerator® program. The challenge called for startups to develop PoC using disruptive, scalable and cost-effective solutions which are differentiable, scalable, software and/or which runs on low-cost general-purpose hardware and provides seamless actionable intelligence data with minimal human intervention. Solutions were sought in the area of commercial and enterprise market segments.

The selected startups worked closely with UTC’s Climate Controls and Security and Otis divisions to enhance UTC’s integrated platform with a reliable, efficient and seamless video analytics software and embedded intelligence, through open innovation frameworks. The startups also got an opportunity to interact with mentors, UTC technology leaders and develop PoC at Hyderabad. Additionally, the winning startups were also assured of funding not exceeding $25K for up to 2 POCs, that UTC identified to develop further.

4. India Innovation Hub Accelerator Program

This program was launched by T-Hub and Facebook in January 2018 to select the first cohort of nine startups that work in the areas of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The objective of the partnership was to identify innovative startups that leverage AR and VR in creative ways to solve real-world problems in industries such as health tech, education and corporate learning and industrial manufacturing, among others. The program was initiated to accelerate innovation in this space.

The startups selected for the three-month program got an opportunity to work with Facebook to scale their business model. Additionally, they also got direct access to FbStart, a global program from Facebook for Startups. The startups were also given an opportunity to develop PoC on their solution and showcase the same during the Demo Day at T-Hub.

5. Facebook India Innovation Accelerator

The second edition of the India Innovation Hub Accelerator program was launched in May 2019. As the theme of this edition is on ‘AI for Social Good’, startups that are using AI to solve complex social problems have been invited to apply for the second cohort. Startups selected for the program are working in the domains of gender equality, decent work and economic opportunity, innovation infrastructure, climate change, and peace and justice.

The India Innovation Accelerator program by Facebook in partnership with T-Hub, offers support to the best startups in this space as they are finding disruptive solutions to address key societal challenges. Startups selected for the program will receive help from Facebook and T-Hub to accelerate their growth and refine their products and services. Facebook will provide mentoring from its engineering and product teams; and direct access to FbStart and other Facebook resources. Startups will also have access to training sprints at Facebook and T-Hub, and to T-Hub’s ecosystem partners.


At T-Hub, we are committed to engaging with corporates and startups to fuel innovation that will build a better tomorrow. In the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at how we are bringing together startups and corporates to collaborate, ideate and create a roadmap for continued innovation.