The name “thingQbator” is a combination of ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘Incubator’. thingQbator was started as an internal incubator of IoT ideas coming from Cisco’s engineer community. With the central belief that none of us is smarter than all of us, the aim was to create makerspaces where IoT enthusiasts could learn more about digital technologies in a hands-on environment and turn their ideas into working prototypes.
Inspired by the success of our internal makerspaces Cisco has come up with the concept of “thingQbator for Universities” to help universities and academic institutions to set up IoT makerspaces to help them accelerate innovation around IoT and digital technologies in their campus.
In India, Cisco has set up 6 thingQbator makerspaces as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility commitments in 2018 and 2019 through our partner – NASSCOM Foundation.
The stated objectives of the thingQbator program in Universities are as follows:
Build Digital Skills: thingQbator provides a platform that enables students to learn by doing
Enables local solutions to local problem: The platform is for the makers, by the makers. It democratizes innovation by building spaces and communities
Link innovation to markets: through cohorts, students can partner with like-minded makers to scale relevant ideas
Accelerate student entrepreneurship: Help students transition from job seeker to job creator
thingQbator Guiding Principles
‘Cisco thingQbator’ makerspaces are equipped with everything needed to turn an IoT idea into a working prototype, including both Cisco and 3rd party equipment.
thingQbator Innovation Model
The thingQbator program is structured to encourage a rapid prototyping mindset. As part of the program, a rotating cohort of about 50 students will join the program every 6 months. over the course of the 6 months, they get 24/7 access to the makerspace and all the equipment and tools therein as well as mentorship and training. The cohort culminates with a demo-day wherein decisions are made on how to proceed with the prototypes built by the cohort.