Story behind us, the ‘tallshortree’family entering the grand finals of IICDC 2017 when our native, Kerala was under the fury of the huge floods.
In the face of adversity, man has just two things: hope and reasoning. We, the ‘tallshortree’
family entered the grand finals of IICDC 2017 when our native, Kerala was under the fury of the
huge floods. After a rather adventurous and dangerous journey that landed us safely in
Bangalore, thanks to the mercy of many a merciful people, we saw what was a technological
galore opened up in front of us. The final presentation, the exposition, the conversations, the
assessments, the excitement, the anxiety and the happiness of becoming one among the ten
incubates… IICDC 2017 unintentionally gave us way more than what it offered to.
About a year ago, this time, we were five individuals, searching for opportunities and ideas which
might give us a platform to think outside the box. That is when we registered for IICDC 2017.
When we found out that we had been selected from among the 15380 teams that applied from all
parts of the country, we were really happy! But little did we know about the journey ahead. As
each round came with its challenges, we tightened our reigns and set out to do tasks which
normally engineering students would not bother to and meet targets and deadlines with such
caution and dedication we had never seen before coming from ourselves. Slowly we realized that
we were not just completing tasks and meeting deadlines, but we were undergoing a beautiful
metamorphosis that now, when we look back was a huge milestone in our engineering life. Our
project was going on a different path with respect to others, we were having stricter deadlines,
we put in extra hours of work and we were exhausting our dearest guides with constant queries.
We were so proud to show our classmates the components that had been shipped free of cost
from Texas Instruments. Most of us shed our shyness to go on record talking about our product
with confidence and conviction. Each time we completed the video submission, we told
ourselves, this was one more time we were overcoming our fears and perceived limits.
What IICDC 2017 gave us was not just an opportunity to play with technology and solve technical
issues, but it put us face to face with the real world problems that any innovative idea undergoes
striving to enter the market. If engineering is the brain of IICDC, business is its heart. We learnt
the art of asking for help. We made phone calls even when we were reluctant to. Things started
changing, even between us. Everyone knew what was to be done, and whom to call and what to
ask. We learnt to make the best use of all the resources we had, whether it was the mentors we
were assigned from IIM Bangalore and Texas Instruments, or the MOOCs provided by IIMB, the
technical resources from TI, our friends, relatives, acquaintances.
The experience during the semifinals was eye-opening. The most fascinating thing was the open
hearted conversations we had, with a plethora of business and tech enthusiastic minds. The
words of the IICDC 2016 incubatees gave us inspiration. We took down each and every technical
and business feedback, went home and thought about it. The three day boot camp at IIM and TI
Bangalore prior to the finals was an unforgettable experience! We cannot express how much it
changed our perspectives about the value we add to the world through our ideas. It also
reminded us about the pitfalls we might face on the way, and how we might face them. The one-
on-one sessions we had with the brightest minds from IIM- B and TI Bangalore was so enriching
and we are ever grateful and consider ourselves lucky to have undergone this experience.
As the date of the finals arrived, our minds were equally elated as well as under huge tension.
The greatest thing is, without such a driving point, none of us would have understood our
performances under pressure. We, who began our journey from Kerala two days prior to the
finals event, faced another unexpected event on our way there- the beginning of the Kerala
Floods. Amidst our bus service getting cancelled halfway, being stranded on the road for hours,
experiencing a scary ride through the flood waters resulting from the unexpected opening of the
Banasurasagar dam and unending rains, we reached a point where we doubted if we might
reach the venue at all. But we did, and what happened afterwards is still a dream in our eyes.
The Kerala floods has brought unimaginable damage to our land and its people. But the
dedication and coordination with which people fought this calamity and reached out not just their
hands, but the whole of their selves to save and help each other is really endearing and highly
appreciable. The young minds who put all possible resources and technical skills to the aid of
rescue and relief is just an amazing example of the limitless possibilities of technology and
teamwork. We aim to rise from this experience with the spirit of the God’s Own Country in our
hearts. Here we are now, our wings being propelled by NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore, Texas
Instruments, DST, myGov and Make In India. We, the ‘tallshortree’ team is excited and
enthusiastic to begin our journey as entrepreneurs. We are proud participants of this amazing
contest, and we wish all our fellow entrepreneurs and the participants of the coming IICDC 2018
all the very best!