Past Event

Responsible Innovation

February 4, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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As part of the Urban Works Innovation Challenge 2020-2021, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science invite you to a panel discussion featuring distinguished startup founders and domain experts as they deliberate on how technological innovation can play a crucial role in making Indian cities resilient.  
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the ways in which people live, work, travel, and consume products. Now more than ever, technical innovation and responsible businesses are essential for making cities healthier, safer, and more sustainable. Our panelists will share their professional journey as entrepreneurs and innovators and discuss challenges and strategies they deployed to make social impact.
The panel will be followed by an Information Session for those interested in applying for the challenge.

● Swati Salgaocar, Director, Vimson Group and Columbia GSAPP, '07 

● Amrita Chowdhury, CEO, Gaia Smart Cities  
● Kanish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and COO, Agua Wireless Systems
● Prashant Chandrasekaran, Co-Founder and COO, ValetEZ


About the Speakers:

Swati Salgaocar

Swati Salgaocar is part of the Vimson Group, founded over 70 years ago in Goa with business interests in mineral development, real estate, and financial services. Ms. Salgaokar holds a B.A. (Arch.) (Hons.) from Yale University and an M.Arch. from Columbia University. She is a member of the Goa State Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Co-Chair of the CII Startups and Innovation Committee (Western Region), and a member of the CII National Committee on Mining and the CII National Startups Council. She has been appointed on a Special Task Force constituted by the Department of Industries, Government of Goa, to review the Goa Investment Promotion Act as well as a Joint Consultative Group for framing of the Goa State Entrepreneurship Policy.

Amrita Chowdhury

Amrita Chowdhury is Director & CEO of Gaia, an IOT+AI Enterprise SaaS company providing operations-tech solutions for Smart Sites and Smart Cities. Amrita is a business strategist, engineer and innovator. She brings a unique understanding of business growth, technology, digital spaces and branding. Prior to co-founding Gaia, Amrita served as President of DY Works (Future Group) and was Country Head South Asia for Harlequin (Torstar), where she significantly grew the India portfolio; and Associate Director, Education for South Asia for Harvard Business School. Amrita started her journey in product development with Applied Materials in California, where her work led to innovations that enabled next-gen chip manufacturing. Amrita holds 7 US patents for semi-conductor manufacturing. She serves as an Independent Director on the Boards of Mahindra Lifespaces Developers Limited, Mahindra World City Jaipur, Mahindra Homes, Nesco, and Simmonds Marshall.

Kanish Aggarwal

Kanish Aggarwal is the Co-founder and COO at Agua Wireless Systems Pvt. Ltd, an Indian startup using IoT technology to enable Smart Water Management in rural, urban and industrial areas. He had previously launched a startup in the Agriculture space as well. He did his MBA from IIM Indore, and combined it with 5+ years of professional experience as a Software Engineer, Business Development professional and an entrepreneur. Kanish has chosen the field of waste management using technology, to help the world move towards an ecologically sustainable future.

Prashant Chandrasekaran

Prashant Chandrasekaran is the co-founder and COO of ValetEZ, an IoT and AI/ML enabled smart parking technology firm based out of Bangalore. Previously, he has been a strategy consultant working with Fortune 500 firms, leading global foundations, and the IFC on driving innovations and business models that create social impact. Prashant has an MBA from the University of Oxford.