Startup in Focus: Hand in Scan and Tamas Haidegger

Tamas Haidegger is the CEO/CTO of Hand-in- Scan & Adjunct Professor at Obuda University in Hungary Budapest. He is highly active within IEEE through the Robotics and Automation Society and currently representing Young Professionals. We interviewed him today to find out more about his research and his startup product Hand-in-Scan. Here is what he had to say to the Young Professionals around the world:

Hand-in-Scan's CEO Tamas Haidegger was awarded the prestigious Dennis Gabor award in the Hungarian Parliament for his entrepreneurial achievements

Hand-in-Scan’s CEO Tamas Haidegger was awarded the prestigious Dennis Gabor award in the Hungarian Parliament for his entrepreneurial achievements

Your Research is in the field of Long Distance Teleportation control. Could you elaborate on this?

I was very interested in Space Robotics and through a Physician colleague, who asked questions about the possibility about performing long distance surgery in space, my interest in this area increased. Despite the fact that surgical robotics started in 1975 with the aim to support Astronauts, there was no research on the physical consequences of space travel. Hence I chose the topic of my thesis to be the feasibility of such analysis and whether tele surgery will be possible.

Could you tell us more about the field of Long Distance teleportation control?

The field of Long Distance teleportation control became a hot topic in research when tele robotics became possible. There are a lot of transatlantic and transcontinental robotic research experiments that are undertaken in this area today. In the meantime, I still think that it is very extreme and the more we think about going to the moon and shooting from Mars the more interesting the area is becoming.

How did the idea of Hand-in-Scan come about?

The idea of Hand-in-Scan came from one of my students who worked in hospitals. He researched the process doctors and nurses sanitized their hands after surgery. There are a lot of market products but when not used properly can cause infections which actually happens more times than we know of.  In the western world, statistics also say that about 200,000 people die because of secondary infections they receive at hospitals during getting a treatment. Hand-in-Scan is an engineering machine which scans hands to point out the missed areas after regular sanitization is done. There is also a reporting function in the machine which sends reports and statistics to the management for analysis to make sure that processes are running correctly.

When you had the Hand-in-Scan idea, how did you know that you wanted to turn it into an entrepreneurial opportunity?

For me, I definitely think that it was an evolution more than a revolution for me and initially I tried to acquire some research grants and some funding for this project but after struggling for a couple of years, we decided to run it as a business. And we had to really change our mindset from Academic to business oriented.

Germstar-hand-rub-integrated-with-Hand-in-Scan

Could you share your experience working with the World Health Organization WHO in relation to the Hand-in-Scan product?

WHO has a special patient safety group consisting of users and companies who devote a lot of their time, energy and money to improve the standards of patient safety. One subgroup or committee is the hand hygiene group which consists of companies selling hand hygiene products and solutions and we are a part of that community and try to contribute towards better patient care.

With doing research, managing a company and teaching, how do you manage your time?

Excellence in research involves good methodology, very thorough basic knowledge and good people you work with can really make you successful in research and this can be translated into good startups. Teaching has provided me with the sales skills required to run this startup successfully.  Also because the company is embedded into the university itself, management is something that I think I am doing well.

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Where do you see yourself working in Technology in the future, while also working at the university?

I think the technology transfer process from university is a very interesting one because I think brilliant students deserve a chance to make their ideas a reality and university can help with translating some ideas into businesses if not all. And I think that is a very exciting future for students.

What role has IEEE played in your career so far?

Starting with 10 years ago, we were organizing small IEEE chapter events, organizing competitions and exchange programs for local students. I did not only get in involved in organizing events but also getting involved in community. Since then, throughout many years, I have attended many IEEE conferences and I developed strong professional connections which helped me in numerous ways. One of the best thing was that I met the best people in my field and once I got to know them, I could ask them questions any time and they assisted me all along. On the other side, IEEE does a lot of work in the business outreach direction as well.  I gained a lot of regulatory knowledge from this which I used during the development of my project.

How has your experience been so far and do you have any special moments you wish to share with us?

I have a lot special moments working so far and I think if you cannot enjoy your work, then you need to change it. Two key messages that I really live by and would like to share with young professionals worldwide are that if you can enjoy your job, you will never have to work your entire life and that get smarter people aboard and make them excited about your problem. And this will help you be creative both in academic and business.

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So what is your message to young robotics professionals around the world? What can they look forward to in the future in Robotics?

This field is growing immensely and the rise of new systems and new companies is unprecedented. The Robotics and Automation society grew from 9000 members to over 12000 members now and I am not talking about amateur member students, but professionals who are currently working in this field. Robotics is integrating into my life increasingly. So this is a good time to join if you are interested, more over if you have an idea which has not been explored before, you can get paid to actually get it into fruition by forming a team.

The team at Young Professionals thanks Tamas for this amazing insight into the world of Robotics. It sure is a field that is growing tremendously and is always hungry for more innovation.

Interview conducted by Shashank Gaur, IEEE Young Professionals

Interview transcribed by Sneha Kangralkar, Assistant Editor, IEEE IMPACT

Entrepreneurship: Startup Weekend in Chennai

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. Today we speak to Mr. Nivas Ravichandran, an IEEE volunteer at heart of this program.

Big Picture

Nivas, tell us a little about yourself and your IEEE involvement.

I am Nivas Ravichandran and I work as a Growth Specialist at a startup called Frilp. I have been an IEEE Volunteer for the past 6 years and have organized more than 150+ events under IEEE. I belong to IEEE Madras Section and I volunteer with IEEE Region 10 as a member of the Electronics Communication and Information Management (ECIM) committee. I am also a part of the IEEE India Strategic Initiative in the Entrepreneurship Wing to foster Entrepreneurship amongst IEEE members across India. I am very passionate towards IEEE and love to give back to the society. A Social Media savvy person too.

Mr. Nivas Ravichandran

Mr. Nivas Ravichandran, IEEE Young Professional driving Entrepreneurship

What is Startup Weekend Chennai, how did it come about and what role does an IEEE volunteer such as you play in this?

Startup Weekend is a three day event during which groups of developers, business folks, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists, aspiring entrepreneurs and many others pitch ideas for new products, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by the evening of the third day. Startup Weekend Chennai was started in 2014 and this is the 4th Edition with a specific focus theme on Finance Technology. Finance Technology encompasses organizations and applications that provide financial services through the engagement of technology. During the three days, ideas were validated, user research was conducted and a minimum viable product was built over a period of 54 hours.  I was an organizer of the Startup Weekend Chennai and IEEE Madras Section Young Professionals also partnered with Startup Weekend Chennai to help reach out to Students and Young Professionals across cities. IEEE members were provided an exclusive discount to be a part of the event.

Demo Pitch 1

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

Who are the participants of the startup weekend? 

The participants comprised predominantly of three categories – Hustlers (Business folks), Hackers and Designers. There were 110 participants from industry and academia from various parts of India in the age group of 17 – 55. It must be said that a majority of them were in their the early 20s. In total we had 36 Pitches and 15 Teams formed during the FinTech Edition.

Who are the mentors and coaches in the program? Can you highlight a few of the key personnel?

The program had 7 mentors, 2 speakers and 5 judges for the event. The mentors included Ashwini Asokan (CEO, Mad Street Den – An Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision based Startup), Deepak Natarajan (AVP Growth, Freecharge – An Online Recharge Application), Vijay Babu (Founder – India Operations, Altiscale), Krish Subramanian (Co-Founder & CEO, Chargebee Subscription Billing), Alladi Ram, CR Venkatesh & Ramanathan RV. As it is a Hackathon format of an event, there were not many speaker sessions. We hosted 2 lightning talks from Harshal Deo (VP Data Technology – Paypal) and Anupam Pahuja (GM APAC Technology Paypal). The judges comprised of senior folk in the FinTech space from Chennai and a few Angel Investors.

Interaction and Mentoring

Interaction and Mentoring

Can you tell us about some of most impressive ideas you have had a chance to hear about this weekend? 

There were 36 ideas pitched out of which 15 were short listed based on voting by the participants. A few of the interesting ideas were

  • PaysnapA system that optimizes your online transactions while maximizing returns
  • Loan SenseHelps monitor your loans against new loan schemes in financial market
  • SmartpayAn app that enables local merchant who do micro transactions to accept digital payments
  • PrepayRA platform to help SMEs sell their Account Receivables to Banks and increase profits.

Demo Pitch 2

The IEEE Young Professionals group has started to focus on Entrepreneurship as one of its key projects. In your view how can the IEEE Young Professionals help IEEE members with entrepreneurship?

I believe it is the right time for IEEE Young Professionals to start focusing on Entrepreneurship. IEEE YP could play a very crucial role in encouraging IEEE Student and other members to pursue Entrepreneurship. We could organize Section Level or Country Level meet-ups, talks and Hackathons for members to come up with ideas, interact and find the right talent to form teams. If we start setting the stage for young professionals to meet and share ideas in the right platforms we could automatically foster Entrepreneurship among the members. In India (Under the IEEE India Strategic Initiative), we are also working on an Entrepreneurship Development Program, which prepares IEEE Student and Young Professional Members across multiple cities. We recently piloted the program in one of the cities and had an amazing response and reach. In a few months, we are expected to launch the same program across multiple cities in India.

Ideation and Validation

Ideation and Validation

The IEEE GOLDRush team thanks Nivas Ravichandran for his contribution to today’s article which should serve as an inspiration to all IEEE members. We look forward to hearing more about the great ideas and initiatives as a result of the startup weekend.

Interview conducted by Dr. Eddie Custovic, Editor-in-Chief, GOLDRush

Awaken the Entrepreneurial Genius in You!

2015 International Microwave Symposium (IMS) Young Professionals Special Session and Complementary Reception

IEEE Young Professionals Global, IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix, and IEEE MTT-S Young Professionals teamed up for the Young Professionals Special Session on May 19th at the 2015 International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in the Phoenix Convention Center.  The session was sponsored by MTT-19 Business Issues and chaired by Emile Davies-Venn.  That night, a Complementary Reception (19:00 to 21:00) was held at Lucky Strike Phoenix.  The reception was sponsored by IEEE Young Professionals Global and hosted by IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix Affinity Group.

IEEE Young Professionals

IEEE Young Professionals at IMS 2015

The Special Session, titled “Young Professional Discussion Forum: Awaken the Entrepreneurial Genius in You! ” featured dynamic entrepreneurial speakers and panelists discussing various aspects of entrepreneurship (http://www.ims2015.org/about-microwave-week/young-professionals/young-professional-session). There were about 40 attendees, a good number of questions from the audience to the speakers/panelists (and a great discussion):

IMS 2015, IEEE Young Professionals mixer

IMS 2015, IEEE Young Professionals mixer

The Complementary Reception was a great event where about 400 diverse attendees from all over the world were able to network and socialize while enjoying bowling, billiard, and food. The Past Chair (Shafiul “Jacky” Islam) and current Chair (Jennifer Taggart) of IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix were appointed as the IEEE Young Professionals Global Representatives by the Vice Chair of Strategic Relationships (Elie Rosen) of IEEE Young Professionals Global.   They communicated to attendees the purpose of IEEE Young Professionals initiative as well as some of the events IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix engaged in last year e.g. Technical Speakers Series, Social Events, and the two mega events: 1st Annual Career Mixer and IEEE Young Professionals Leadership Conference 2014. Plans for future IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix events were also announced.  During the reception an IEEE Young Professionals Global presentation/video played on all of the screens at Lucky Strike.

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In the spirit of IEEE Young Professionals Strategic Alliance, IEEE Young Professionals Global and IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix engaged in this collaborative event for the first time and experimented with it to take the learnings from this event and use it as a model for other subsequent events e.g. other IEEE technical conferences etc. We highly appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of following key people who enabled such a great event:

  • Elie Rosen, Vice Chair Strategic Relationships, IEEE Young Professionals Global
  • Elsie Vega,  IMS 2015 Event Management

Article contributed by Shafiul “Jacky” Islam, Past Chair, IEEE Young Professionals Phoenix  

Getting SOCIAL with Devon Ryan

What is SOCIAL?

Suggestion, Opinion, Concern, Idea, Advice, Lesson (SOCIAL) is a new initiative of the IEEE GOLDRush publication team to connect with Young Professional volunteers world-wide. The SOCIAL questionnaire provides members with a “voice” that can be shared with our entire membership by answering a few simple questions.

Mr. Devon Ryan, Region 5 Young Professional Chair, IEEE USA Young Professionals Representative

Mr. Devon Ryan, Region 5 Young Professional Chair, IEEE USA Young Professionals Representative

Who is Devon Ryan?

Mr. Devon Ryan is a Young Professionals Representative and an IEEE-USA Board Member. He is the current Region 5 Young Professionals Chair and Co-Founder of Lion Mobile LLC, an innovative inventing mobile applications team.

Suggestion – Do you have any suggestions for the IEEE?

Entrepreneurship is steadily growing. As more and more people gain access to the internet, the more people will have access to tools and resources to start their own businesses. With that being said, I believe entrepreneurship can help accelerate an individual’s development and amplify their abilities. My suggestion for IEEE is to provide more entrepreneurial resources and initiatives. For example, funding, incubators, tools & resources, collaborative workspaces, etc.

Opinion – Provide an opinion on any IEEE related topic.

In my opinion, IEEE has numerous channels and it can be overwhelming from the member and volunteer viewpoint. Perhaps, we can hyper-focus efforts on the top 20% of IEEE that provides 80% of the value for both members and volunteers. This sort of defragmentation could help IEEE be very efficient from both a business and customer perspective.

Concern – Express a major concern related to IEEE

I am concerned that there is not enough emphasis on leadership amongst Young Professional members and volunteers.

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Idea – Do you have any great idea for the IEEE?

IEEE does not have the best track record when it comes to branding and marketing; however, it has improved nonetheless. The Young Professionals are the future and my idea is to focus our efforts on reaching them with the right message.

Advice – What advice can you provide to IEEE or IEEE members?

IEEE has helped me accelerate my career by providing me with a larger and more diverse professional network. IEEE also helped me develop and polish my professional brand. It not only helped my resume, but IEEE enabled me to create unique opportunities to be more impactful in my industry. Accelerate your growth with IEEE and position yourself to create unique opportunities.

Lesson – Describe a lesson you have learnt as a result of the IEEE

The lesson I learn as a result of IEEE would have to be that technology and people combined will help you do far more greater things in life. Embrace people, embrace new technology, and always strive to challenge yourself and great things will happen. You can only do so much alone. When you put yourself in a room with different people from all over the world really cool ideas come to life.

Want to get SOCIAL with IEEE GOLDRush? Send us your response: GOLDRush@ieee.org

Want to get in touch with Devon? devon.ryan@ieee.org

Young Scientists From Around the Globe Gather in Singapore

How would you like to pick the brains of thirteen Nobel Laureates, three Fields Medalists, winners of the Millennium Technology Prize, and recipients of IEEE’s own Medal of Honor? In Singapore, at the second installment of the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in January, five hundred attendees were given the opportunity to do just that. Of these attendees, 350 were PhD and postdoctoral researchers under the age of 35 nominated by universities, research institutes, and corporate laboratories around the world, while the remaining 150 were invited guests from Singapore’s tech community.

The GYSS, organized by the National Research Foundation of Singapore, is inspired by the annual Lindau Nobel Meetings but features a greater focus on participation from the Asia-Pacific region. Singaporeans comprise 19% of the participants, Asians and Australians 47%, the US and Europe 20%, and researchers from multinational corporations make up the remaining 13%.

The theme of the Summit was “Advancing Science and Creating Technologies for a Better World” and the speakers discussed a wide variety of topics, including biochemistry, physics, medicine, mathematics, and engineering. Some told stories of the discoveries they were most recognized for, while others shared their latest research. With some of the lectures making deep dives into specialized disciplines, sometimes it was a challenge to keep up. Notably, the audience members were not shy about asking questions even if they were not experts in the topic at hand.

In one of the talks, IEEE’s 2013 Medal of Honor winner, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, shared his experience transitioning from academic to entrepreneur, first founding Linkabit, then Qualcomm. Qualcomm has grown to prominence as the world’s largest semiconductor supplier for wireless products and for 15 consecutive years was included in Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Not bad for a company started because he was bored three months into early retirement!

The organizers also held several panel discussions on topics such as challenges in a STEM career, the role of science in society, technology entrepreneurship, and the relationship between science and the arts. Some of these sessions were open to the general public as well.

A design competition called Singapore Challenge was held in conjunction with the GYSS. The participants were invited to submit proposals that addressed challenges related to urban development. The theme of this year’s competition was “From Sensing to Solution: Leveraging ICT to Build Sustainable Cities,” resulting in a grand total of 35 proposals submitted. Among the 10 finalists was IEEE member Jason Gu, whose proposal is an open platform called “the Idea Store” which facilitates contributions from both city planners and residents. The intent is for the platform to integrate raw data sensing, data processing, and big data analytics with built in block programming functionality, so even an average resident without prior programming training would be able to use it.

We spoke to Jason in more detail about his Singapore Challenge proposal and how IEEE has played an important role in his career development so far. This interview will appear in Part 2 of this series in GOLDRush.

To learn more about the GYSS and find out how you might be able to attend in the future, visit the official GYSS website.

To see photos from GYSS 2014, visit the IEEE Region 10 Facebook album.

Article contributed by Helene Fung, Senior Strategy and Business Development Manager, IEEE Singapore

Beating unemployment with entrepreneurship in Cyprus

fullDespite the challenging economic climate in Cyprus, the recent “Learn Startup” event proved that young Cypriots are willing and able to build their future through entrepreneurship activities. During the event, three young entrepreneurs presented their experiences of creating business and technology innovation, providing practical advice to an active audience. Also, the CEOs of three business incubators gave examples of many successful companies which have been incubated in Cyprus and have attained international scope. They described the steps from the conception of an idea to building a proper team and gathering funding for implementation. The event was also attended by a representative of the local authorities, who announced the launch of a public consultation on the future co-funded Entrepreneurial Innovation Programs. The event was attended by over sixty people. In addition to the motivating and enthusiastic speeches, attendees were given an opportunity to network with each other and the speakers during the reception that followed. The event was organized by the IEEE Cyprus GOLD AG with the sponsorship of the IEEE GOLD STEP program and the IEEE Cyprus Section, and the support of the Association of PhD Candidates of Cyprus and KIOS Research Center for Intelligent Systems and Networks.

Article contributed by Dr. Antonis M. Hadjiantonis, IEEE Cyprus Section Member

Entrepreneurship pathfinding in the IEEE Madras Section

Barnabas Muthu, IEEE GOLD Madras Section Execom Member

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To cater to the needs of new startups and to guide budding entrepreneurs, the IEEE GOLD Affinity Group of Madras Section organized a Pathfinder Workshop in association with the IEEE Madras Section Student Network and IEEE Region 10 GOLD Committee on 29th December, 2012, at the Anna University Alumni Centre, Chennai.

The workshop was an invite-only event for selected delegates based on the statement of intent they were asked to give on the registration form. Fifty delegates from different academic and industry backgrounds ultimately participated in the workshop. The opening speakers were Mr. T.S. Rangarajan, Chairman of the IEEE Madras Section and Mr. H.R. Mohan, Vice-Chair of the IEEE Madras Section. Mr. Srivatsava (Co-Founder and CEO of JadeMagnet) and Mr. Manik Kinra (Co-founder and CMO of JadeMagnet) were also present to serve as mentors. A complete profile of the speakers is located at http://goo.gl/19Zgy.

The workshop began with participants introducing themselves and sharing their expectation of the workshop. Manik and Sitash then elucidated the concepts of entrepreneurship in an illustrative and interactive manner. Additionally, they presented insights on how to identify megatrends at a given point of time and use them to the benefit of the startup. Both Manik and Sitash were quite engaging and responsive to the questions of participants. Finally, they explained how to solve problems and how to take examples from the experiences of global organizations running successful business models in various domains. All told, this session was helpful and informative for all participants.

The post-lunch session featured instruction on building an effective business plan and revenue stream. Manik and Sitash then shed light on the processes needed to build a sustainable start-up. Incorporation, Sales/Marketing, Human Resources, Financial Management and Governance were a part of this session. Manik emphasized the importance of effective documentation and on-time payment of taxes. Slides from this presentation can be downloaded from http://goo.gl/vECYd.

The one-day workshop was brought to a close with an expression of thanks by Nivas Ravichandran, Lead of Chennai Hub – IEEE Madras Section Student Network.

It was indeed a wonderful day of learning and enlightenment for all the participants. We had wonderful feedback from all the participants and we hope to see a lot of young entrepreneurs and successful startups in the near future.

As a continuation of this event, the GOLD Affinity Group of IEEE Madras Section is planning to start a Special Interest Group on Entrepreneurship (IGM-SIGE) which would focus on providing continued support to aspiring entrepreneurs. The Pathfinder series will continue to serve the mission of the IGM-SIGE in the form of workshops, collaborative platforms to network, and webinars on different topics from the CEOs of successful startups.

We wish to express special thanks to the IEEE Region 10 GOLD Committee for their financial support and the GOLD/Student Network Volunteers of Madras Section for their active and tireless support in the successful execution of the event.