RiiDL

Fab Lab and startup incubator

520 RiiDL Bhaskarachraya building, Somaiya Vidyavihar, Vidyavihar (E), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400077

Fab Lab Incubator Coworking space

Space size 280 m²

Opened in June 2010

Structure type Non-profit organisation

Explored in May 2017


RiiDL Fab Lab is an innovation centre and accelerator open to all, located in the Somaiya Campus in Mumbai, India.

Main interests

Technology - machines & tools Community Entrepreneurship Robotics Industry & innovation Education Electronics Design Games & scale modelling

This workshop is great for:

Every single person & organisation!

The closest workshops nearby are:

Interview & guided tour

Meet someone from the team & discover the space by yourself!

Our workshop

Learn more about our space, members, machines & services!

Fab Lab RiiDL is located in the heart of Somaiya University, Mumbai, on the 5th floor of one of its numerous building, welcoming 35.000 students every year. Created in 2010, RiiDL stands among the first Fab Labs launched in India.

Its original intention was to create a space allowing students of the University to express their creativity and use tools and machines to build their final year projects. Teams were gathering here to participate to international competitions such as “Robotcon” or Shell eco marathon.

RiiDL acquires slowly machines, tools and gathers a strong community around its workshops and events. It becomes an innovation center, leading research projects on drones, water quality measurements… Students are gathering in teams around projects, which naturally leads to the creation of start-ups.

In 2015, RiiDL becomes officially a technology business incubator, benefitting from a government grant to launch its new activity. It has hosted 43 startups since then in SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) and Embedded Electronics areas. Among these we can quote Square off, a revolution in chess board experience, or HoRo, a smart home automation system.

Today RiiDL’s ambition is to become a premier center for groundbreaking research, and a breeding ground for start-ups.

As RiiDL is located in a University, 70% of its users are students. Most of them study architecture, and use the lab to achieve their final study project. Some are part of teams building cars or drones to attend international competitions. Others are launching their startups. 20% of users are University employees or teachers, using the labs to produce material for education courses, or goodies to distribute to students. 10% are external to the University, start-ups or artists.

The 48 regular users of the lab are mostly looking for the facilities, machines and workshops. Start-ups also join for the mentoring and network offered by the “Refine” program, and also for the grant accessible when joining the incubator, referenced as a government nod.

RiiDL communicates a lot by publishing small videos of students’ projects on their social networks, showing concrete examples of what can be achieved in the lab. It also hosts free events and workshops for students, to encourage them to cross the door.

The lab holds several “in-house projects” (self-assembling drones, water quality measurement…) and involves its members in their development. Hence any member can take one of these projects forward.

RiiDL is a non-profit organization. In 2010, the 3 founders got a grant of 40K/year during 3 years from Somaiya University to test their idea. It has been used to buy the first machines, materials, and organize the labs’ activities.

In 2017, the annual budget of RiiDL is 120 K€, partly funded by the University, government’s grant and the lab revenues. As the 3000 square-feet-space is located inside the University, RiiDL does not pay the rent. The main costs are salaries (62%) followed by operational costs for the machines, materials… (20%), marketing and events (12%) and others (6%).

Revenues are mostly coming through space renting for startups incubated (50%), workshops (40%) and occasional activities (10%), such as the production of goodies for the University.

As key success indicators, the lab focuses on the number of active members, workshops attended, social networks followers. It also tracks the number of applications received by the incubator as well as the number of startups currently incubated.

Key challenges for the future will be to focus on raising the Indians will to launch startups. RiiDL is currently applying for a governmental grant allowing the launch of new Fab Labs across India. It will also focus on spreading the maker culture, by increasing communication, events and partnerships.

While they were 3 members in the team in 2010, RiiDL has now 1 CEO, 1 administrator and 7 technical experts. 3 are dedicated to the Fab Lab, 2 to the incubator, 1 to the BioAcademy, 1 to event and PR.

The place is open to everyone, and any new member has to follow a regular process of trainings, to use the machines. For all, many workshops are dedicated to electronics, engineering, design… The lab even hosts fabacademy and since this year bioacademy.

Entering the Technology Business Incubator requires to apply and be selected. The application process is rolling the all year, and each startup is selected by a committee of expert looking at several criterias including the area of action (must be SMAC or embedded electronics), business plan, scalability, team…

Once selected, the start-up can benefit from the experts and external mentors coaching, a governmental grant, and from all the lab’s partnerships (Facebook dev, Google dev, Amazonweb services, IIT University…). The most promising start-ups can attend the “Refine” program to finalize their business model before launching their product.

RiiDL also created an alumni network between new and old members to enhance exchanges and collaborations inside the community. They strongly encourage all startups to help each other by exchanging services.

Each project developed inside RiiDL has access to the intranet discussion channels of the lab. The teams encourage their members to document at least monthly their progresses, challenges and next steps. They are asked to put pictures and explanations. But this process is not mandatory yet.

Internally all workshops are documented and can be accessible to the students online on the members’ website.

The lab does not hesitate to provide documentation from old projects to the new joiners so that they can be inspired and even use this knowledge of it for their own.

In the future, one of RiiDL’s focus will be to develop a standard documentation process internally. The main challenge is the time required by such a task, which can not always be handled by the team.

Fab Lab RiiDL is located in the heart of Somaiya University, Mumbai, on the 5th floor of one of its numerous building, welcoming 35.000 students every year. Created in 2010, RiiDL stands among the first Fab Labs launched in India.

Its original intention was to create a space allowing students of the University to express their creativity and use tools and machines to build their final year projects. Teams were gathering here to participate to international competitions such as “Robotcon” or Shell eco marathon.

RiiDL acquires slowly machines, tools and gathers a strong community around its workshops and events. It becomes an innovation center, leading research projects on drones, water quality measurements… Students are gathering in teams around projects, which naturally leads to the creation of start-ups.

In 2015, RiiDL becomes officially a technology business incubator, benefitting from a government grant to launch its new activity. It has hosted 43 startups since then in SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) and Embedded Electronics areas. Among these we can quote Square off, a revolution in chess board experience, or HoRo, a smart home automation system.

Today RiiDL’s ambition is to become a premier center for groundbreaking research, and a breeding ground for start-ups.

As RiiDL is located in a University, 70% of its users are students. Most of them study architecture, and use the lab to achieve their final study project. Some are part of teams building cars or drones to attend international competitions. Others are launching their startups. 20% of users are University employees or teachers, using the labs to produce material for education courses, or goodies to distribute to students. 10% are external to the University, start-ups or artists.

The 48 regular users of the lab are mostly looking for the facilities, machines and workshops. Start-ups also join for the mentoring and network offered by the “Refine” program, and also for the grant accessible when joining the incubator, referenced as a government nod.

RiiDL communicates a lot by publishing small videos of students’ projects on their social networks, showing concrete examples of what can be achieved in the lab. It also hosts free events and workshops for students, to encourage them to cross the door.

The lab holds several “in-house projects” (self-assembling drones, water quality measurement…) and involves its members in their development. Hence any member can take one of these projects forward.

RiiDL is a non-profit organization. In 2010, the 3 founders got a grant of 40K/year during 3 years from Somaiya University to test their idea. It has been used to buy the first machines, materials, and organize the labs’ activities.

In 2017, the annual budget of RiiDL is 120 K€, partly funded by the University, government’s grant and the lab revenues. As the 3000 square-feet-space is located inside the University, RiiDL does not pay the rent. The main costs are salaries (62%) followed by operational costs for the machines, materials… (20%), marketing and events (12%) and others (6%).

Revenues are mostly coming through space renting for startups incubated (50%), workshops (40%) and occasional activities (10%), such as the production of goodies for the University.

As key success indicators, the lab focuses on the number of active members, workshops attended, social networks followers. It also tracks the number of applications received by the incubator as well as the number of startups currently incubated.

Key challenges for the future will be to focus on raising the Indians will to launch startups. RiiDL is currently applying for a governmental grant allowing the launch of new Fab Labs across India. It will also focus on spreading the maker culture, by increasing communication, events and partnerships.

While they were 3 members in the team in 2010, RiiDL has now 1 CEO, 1 administrator and 7 technical experts. 3 are dedicated to the Fab Lab, 2 to the incubator, 1 to the BioAcademy, 1 to event and PR.

The place is open to everyone, and any new member has to follow a regular process of trainings, to use the machines. For all, many workshops are dedicated to electronics, engineering, design… The lab even hosts fabacademy and since this year bioacademy.

Entering the Technology Business Incubator requires to apply and be selected. The application process is rolling the all year, and each startup is selected by a committee of expert looking at several criterias including the area of action (must be SMAC or embedded electronics), business plan, scalability, team…

Once selected, the start-up can benefit from the experts and external mentors coaching, a governmental grant, and from all the lab’s partnerships (Facebook dev, Google dev, Amazonweb services, IIT University…). The most promising start-ups can attend the “Refine” program to finalize their business model before launching their product.

RiiDL also created an alumni network between new and old members to enhance exchanges and collaborations inside the community. They strongly encourage all startups to help each other by exchanging services.

Each project developed inside RiiDL has access to the intranet discussion channels of the lab. The teams encourage their members to document at least monthly their progresses, challenges and next steps. They are asked to put pictures and explanations. But this process is not mandatory yet.

Internally all workshops are documented and can be accessible to the students online on the members’ website.

The lab does not hesitate to provide documentation from old projects to the new joiners so that they can be inspired and even use this knowledge of it for their own.

In the future, one of RiiDL’s focus will be to develop a standard documentation process internally. The main challenge is the time required by such a task, which can not always be handled by the team.

Technologies & processes available

3D printing CNC milling Laser cutting Metal working tools Robotics Electronics

Services offered

Coworking space Prototyping Coaching & project mentoring Startups & projects incubation / mentoring Startups & projects hosting Workshop memberships Classes & workshops BioAcademy curriculum FabAcademy curriculum

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

The alumni network of RiiDL

What is it?

RiiDL has put in place a network of alumni to connect “old” members with new joiners.

In concrete terms?

RiiDL connects new joiners and old members when there is an opportunity for collaboration or the share of knowledge. They organize events, formal or informal, to gather this community.

Why it’s interesting?

These events and connections allow new joiners to benefit from the experience of their elders. It also stimulates the community and often students from the lab find their internships in startups previously incubated in the lab.


Relevant external partnerships

What is it?

RiiDL has strong partnerships offering free services to its members, or allowing them to execute pilot tests of their products.

In concrete terms?

RiiDL partners with Facebook developpers, Google developpers, Amazon web services, allowing its startups to get free services during their stay in the incubator. On top, some Universities authorize and help the startups to execute pilots of their products. By example HoRo was allowed to install its smart lighting devices inside Somayia University.

Why it’s interesting?

These partnerships allow RiiDL’s users to benefit from quality services at no cost during their development phase, and to test and learn quickly their products with low risks.


Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

Square Off - the smartest chess board

Challenge any online opponent across the globe or play against the artificial intelligence on this automated chess board!


Offee - deliver high speed content anywhere

What is it?

There is a lot of Internet content developed in the world. But there is no many ways to access it. It always depends on the Internet connection and its speed.

Offee is a device allowing to spread high quality content anywhere without any internet or any connectivity. It can hold up to 1 Terabyte of content. This device can be used to provide content in transport or in remote areas with low or no connectivity.

How do they interact with the workshop?

They started here and built the prototype being helped by the team of the lab. Today they are 15 people in the team. They sold around 1500 devices.

What are the next steps?

They are looking to move on mass production and focus on sales in India and abroad.


HoRo - smarting your house

What is it?

HoRo was initially a student project made by Sunil and Nikhil, the co-founders. They work on a smart lighting system which could monitor a house through an application. They realized that there were a market for their product in India. So following their graduation, they applied for the RiiDL incubator and were integrated in 2016.

How do they interact with the workshop?

We use the equipment, machines and tools to make our prototypes. The lab helps us to understand our market, create new contacts, like some designers, builders, and manufacturers. They already sold their products to their university as a pilot, and equipped all the lights of RiiDL lab.

What’s next?

We are working on improving their first product by including more functionalities (control not only lights but more devices). They are in touch with distributors to understand their needs and requirements to sell their product, and benefit from the incubator to reinforce their business plan.


Kustard Technologies - web & app developers

What is it?

Mandar and Javed started to work together as freelancers in 2016, to help startups develop quality web and mobile applications. They finally decided to launch their own company “Kustard” providing services and building “in house” products. Their first app is named Dakaar. An application scrolling the web to find the best recipes according to your taste.

How do they interact with the workshop?

They joined the incubator 10 months ago, in October 2016.

“We use the space, facilities, no hardware needed in our case. They help us by providing computers & connecting us to industry contacts!”

What’s next?

They focus on making Dakaar a success (they already have 50,000 users, and launch their new SaaS product within 6 months.


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