Monday, May 30, 2016

We're all in this together: Jaaga Startup

In the afternoon, the majority of the group traveled to a non profit co-working group called Jaaga which can be broadly described as a startup that promotes other startups.
In the afternoon, the majority of the group traveled to a non profit co-working group called Jaaga which can be broadly described as a startup that promotes other startups. Jaaga startup is one of three entities of the company and, appropriately, the name translates directly to "space". This branch provides a co-working space for small startups so that designers, hardware and software engineers, and other experts can utilize each others talents to survive cooperatively in a competitive business world. They even have experts that have worked at the top of companies like Agilent and Goldman Sachs. Tej, a hardware design expert, met with us and conversed with us about the issues prevalent in India, namely: water, air, food, waste, and energy. He told us that Jaaga has worked with 200 coworkers and 50 startups in 2.5 years and that they all share the common goal of solving these five environmental issues.

He showed us an emerging project that may be picked up by Minnesota's own: Target. Urban gardening kits come equipped with sensors and a mobile lab to train people to be able to sustain an urban garden on their own. This kit also comes with a soil mix for proper plant nutrition and a smart phone app that has a guided recommendation with what to grow based on criterion such as light availability. Bempu is a different group at Jaaga that is currently working on a watch-like device for newborns that monitors temperature in order to prevent hypothermia, a problem that effects nearly 1 in 3 babies in most countries.

This was a cool example of how successful co-working can be because our liaison Tej was asked to help with the hardware in the device like the sensors and silicon molding. It was cool to see all these underdogs tackling such big issues and our group felt inspired that we too could work on projects like this or even one day create our own.


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