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An abundance of opportunities for robotics companies...
It still sucks getting funding but hopefully something here helps
It's sad news when another rising robotics company gets pinched by the current financial headwinds, but if you're hiring, then a whole batch of very talented and experienced people are now on the hunt for new opportunities, preferably in robotics.
I shared this message with Silicon Valley Robotics member companies earlier today and we’ve already had 8 or 9 companies reach out, hoping to hire. If you’re a roboticist looking for work, or a company looking to hire, please subscribe to this newsletter or contact me directly - firstname.lastname@example.org
Robots & Startups is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Big thank you to everyone who has become a paid subscriber - it makes you an angel investor in the work I do at Silicon Valley Robotics and as a startup advisor, and accelerator. And maybe we can do more to share your experience and expertize with the robotics startup community. Mentor Office Hours, maybe startup profiles. We’ll keep exploring.
Grants & Opportunities:
1/ About the Global Challenge
The annual Hello Tomorrow Challenge is a unique international competition specifically designed to give early-stage deep tech startups access to equity-free funding (€150K total prizes), global visibility (pitch & showcase opportunities at our Global Summit) and connections with key players.
Around 700 of the best startups are selected to join our Deep Tech Pioneers community and get exclusive access to our Investor Day and Global Summit (Paris, March 2024) where they’d get the chance to pitch for, demo their tech for and meet with:
400+ C-level from industry leaders such as Airbus, Bayer, Bosch, Danone, Honda, LG Electronics, L'Oréal, Mitsubishi, Servier, Total, Vinci, etc.
150+ VCs such as DCVC, SOSV, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, Sofinnova, Gilde Healthcare, IQ Capital, Walden Catalyst, Amadeus, Fifty Years, etc.
50+ CVCs from companies such as BMW, Engie, Hitachi, Repsol, Safran, Shell, Solvay, Sony, TDK, Toyota etc.
international media such as The Economist, Sifted, BBC, Nature Journal, TechCrunch, etc.
2/ Other startup opportunities
-Galp Challenge for energy startups: A chance to co-develop a fully funded pilot with Galp, connect with their CVC team and experts, and showcase at Web Summit 2023. Apply by Sept 10th
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies.
CDL has designed a new approach to enterprising research and innovation, nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset through expert opinion, funding opportunities, research analysis, and business development support.
We are now actively recruiting for various stakeholders to join us for the 2023/24 year and welcome any referrals you have for the following roles:
Ventures - We seek introductions to startups that should participate in next year’s cohorts. Our sweet spot is working with founders at the pre-seed or pre-series A stage. The CDL program does not take equity or charge fees from founders. Over 600 startups were admitted in the 2022/23 program year across all locations and in a variety of specialized streams including Computational Health, Manufacturing, AI, Climate, Fintech, Oceans, Quantum, and others. You may submit referrals here or directly to Macey McGovern (email@example.com). Founders must apply by Friday, July 28.
Mentors - Our program thrives off of mentors with exceptional experience that are willing to share their career learnings, institutional knowledge, and advice with the founders admitted to the program. If you know of anyone who would be a great addition to CDL-Seattle’s mentor list, please share these individuals with Emer Dooley (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Amy Lippmann (email@example.com). Mentor recommendations are welcome on a rolling basis, although summer is the most convenient time of the year to onboard.
Technical Assessors - For any ventures being considered for admission, we conduct a technical due diligence call with a scientist in our network. This year’s assessments will take place between August 14 - September 15. If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating as a scientist to assess a prospective admitted venture’s technical feasibility, please let Amy Lippmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) know or fill out an interest form. The time commitment is about one hour per venture, and the scientist chooses how many ventures they want to assess. Interested technical assessors should indicate interest via email or through the interest form by Friday, July 28.
ANNOUNCING THE CLEANTECH HARDWARE INNOVATION PROTOTYPING PROGRAM AT THE WASHINGTON CLEAN ENERGY TESTBEDS!
UPDATE: Applications for the next CHIP cohort are now being accepted until September 1st, 2023! Please see below for instructions on how to apply.
The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds have recently partnered with the CleanTech Alliance and VertueLab to establish the Northwest Cleantech Innovation Network through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC). As part of this program, the Testbeds has launched the Cleantech Hardware Innovation Prototyping (CHIP) program to increase access to advanced capabilities for scaled prototyping, testing, and demonstration. Applicants can apply for funding to develop their technologies at the Testbeds facility in Seattle, WA. An application period will occur twice annually, with the intent of providing 3-6 applicants each year with $10k-$25k worth of access to the Testbeds equipment over a 6-month period.
Entrepreneurs and startup companies in need of access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to develop, advance, prototype, and/or manufacture their innovative clean energy technologies are eligible to apply. Applicant companies should be pre-B-round, or similar metric, in maturity.
The application period for the third 2023 cohort is open until September 1st, 2023. Applications will be reviewed by an expert panel at the end of the application period. Awardees are expected to begin work in October 2023.
Questions? Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Deadline for Phase 1 submissions is July 18
Upgrading existing buildings to efficiently run on clean energy will help address climate change. Building upgrades may include transitioning to efficient electric equipment, including heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, and improving building efficiency through measures such as insulation and air sealing. Together, efforts will help reduce carbon emissions and energy costs, while improving indoor air quality and occupant comfort.
Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office (BTO), Buildings UP aims to build capacity to rapidly and equitably transform U.S. buildings. Teams will submit innovative concepts to leverage the billions of dollars available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), utility rebate programs, and many other funding sources, capitalizing on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to equitably transform a wide variety of buildings across diverse geographies. As teams progress through the prize, they will receive cash prizes and technical assistance to help bring their ideas to life.
All Phase 1 Webinars have occurred. Descriptions as well links to recordings of the webinars can be found on the Upcoming Webinars and Recordings Tab.
Phase 1: Concept
Teams may apply to one of two pathways: Equity-Centered Innovation or Open Innovation.
Equity-Centered Innovation Pathway
Teams will propose a concept to deliver scalable and replicable upgrades to buildings in disadvantaged communities, low- and moderate-income households, and underserved commercial, nonprofit, and public buildings. Phase 1 Equity-Centered Innovation winners will each receive a $400,000 cash prize.
Open Innovation Pathway
Teams will propose a concept for replicable and scalable solutions that addresses a geographic area or building type. Phase 1 Open Innovation winners will each receive a $200,000 cash prize.
Winners of both pathways will be eligible to advance to Phase 2 and access technical assistance.
Topics for our FY 2024 SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 1 Funding Opportunity Announcement have been issued and are available on our website: https://science.osti.gov/sbir/Funding-Opportunities. The following DOE program offices are participating in this solicitation:
Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR)
Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
Office of High Energy Physics (HEP)
Office of Nuclear Physics (NP)
Upcoming Topics Webinar
Please register for one or all of the DOE FY 2024 Phase I Release 1 SBIR/STTR Topics webinars and hear directly from the DOE Topic Managers as they briefly provide insight into their respective topics.
Important Upcoming Dates
Funding Opportunity Announcement Issued: Monday, August 07, 2023
Letter of Intent Due Date: Monday, August 28, 2023 at 5 PM EDT
Non-responsive LOI Feedback Provided: Monday, September 18, 2023
Application Due Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 11:59 PM EDT
Award Notification Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2024*
Start of Grant Budget Period: Monday, February 12, 2024*
We’re adding a job fair and an IEEE RAS meeting to the Get into Robotics event!
Learn about the next wave of industrial robotics at Disrupt’s Hardware Stage - Sept 19-21 in San Francisco - TechCrunch
(plus Brian Heater at Actuator says you save $600 till August 11 and save 15% on top of that with promo “ACTUATOR”)
Sep 19-21 - FIRA USA Salinas: Robotics and Autonomous Farming Solutions - FIRA
Sep 28 - The Autonomous Systems Showcase - Deep Tech Showcase
Oct 1-5 - IROS in Detroit - IEEE RAS
IROS is calling for demos - and so is Hello Robot.
Hello Robot is going to have multiple Stretches at IROS and we'd love to see some cool work from our community demonstrated at the Expo! We plan to make a few robots available for community members who would like to showcase their research at IROS, but aren't able to bring their own robots with them.
Demo submissions are due July 15 - if you'd be interested in using one of our robots to participate, please reach out to us as soon as you can!
Oct 25 - The Food AI Summit - Alameda CA - Call for Speakers open - from The Spoon
Actobotics Sunset Sale at ServoCity
The end of Actobotics means amazing deals—we’re offering 60% OFF on ALL Actobotics while supplies last! Get the solutions your project needs before they’re gone!
Conferences & Workshops:
We are inviting submissions and participation in the 2023 AAAI Symposium on Unifying Representations for Robot Application Development (UR-RAD). The symposium will take place on October 25-27, 2023, in Arlington, VA, USA.
Behind any robot task or interaction is a formal representation that should (a) enable sufficient contextualization; (b) support any existing predefined, learned, and/or reusable skills onboard the robot; (c) be verifiable at design time and behave consistently at run-time; and (d) can be tested, executed, and modified for reuse on a variety of different robot morphologies. Representations have long played a pivotal role in robot application development. Examples include behavior trees, finite state machines, hierarchical task networks, and many, many others.
The problem is that there is a lack of consistency and uniformity in how these representations are selected and used by robotics researchers. The goals of the symposium will therefore be to (a) categorize current representational trends for robot application development, (b) discuss best practices for future adoption of languages, formal representations, development frameworks, etc. that integrate advances from the wider AI community, and (c) identify opportunities for collaboration between academia and industry.
Symposium Website: https://sites.google.com/view/aaai-ur-rad-symposium/home
AAAI Fall Symposium Series Website: https://aaai.org/conference/fall-symposia/aaai-2023-fall-symposium-series/
Submission Topics of Interest
We invite submissions related, but not limited, to the following topics:
Existing representations for robot applications
Proposals for standardizing representations for robotics
Robot end-user development
Robot programming paradigms
Robot programming interfaces
Robot control interfaces and runtime environments
Standardized application development for different robot morphologies
Application development frameworks for robotics (e.g., ROS)
Formal methods in robotics
Representations, frameworks, and models for robot learning
AI planning for robotics
Open-source initiatives in robotics
Interfaces for human-robot interaction
Submissions: August 4th, 2023
Acceptance: September 15th, 2023
Camera Ready: October 9th, 2023
The submission link can be found on the symposium website. The submission format can be any of the following:
Regular Research Papers: (4-6 pages, AAAI double-column format) describing robotics work related to any of the themes above.
Artifact Papers: (4-6 pages, AAAI double-column format) describing artifacts (e.g., software tools or libraries) related to any of the themes above.
Position Papers: (2-4 pages, AAAI double-column format), directly discussing themes outlined above.
David Porfirio (US Naval Research Laboratory)
Ross Mead (Semio)
Laura M. Hiatt (US Naval Research Laboratory)
Mark Roberts (US Naval Research Laboratory)
Amin Atrash (Amazon Lab 126)
Nick DePalma (Independent Researcher)
Ruchen Wen (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Laura Stegner (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
Please send any questions about the workshop to firstname.lastname@example.org
Robots & Startups is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.