Qualcomm has announced the short-list for its Qualcomm Ventures QPrize business plan competition. The startups shortlisted cover a wide range of telecom products, from Traffic monitoring and prediction, mobile based retail, education, video, classifieds, and a social network. Surprisingly, none appear to focus explicitly on the rural segment in India. The India winner of the QPrize competition receive seed funding of $ 100,000, and all eight business plans will be considered for incubation at Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (IIM–B). The companies shortlisted: -- Capillary Technologies: An IIT Kharagpur incubated company from Bangalore, Capillary technologies provides mobile based loyalty programs for retailers. Their first product, In Touch, is an SMS based loyalty program with analytics for retailers, with analytics on the web, as well as campaign management and messaging tools. They also provide SMS based event management for Events, College Festivals and Conferences, with registration, games, quizzes, schedule and event information Retail might be the right segment to begin with, since there is a need to boost demand, but we wonder if any retailers will be able to handle campaigns themselves. Capillary might have to offer campaign management services, rather than a product. While they're focusing on retailers, with mobile as a medium for a card-free loyalty program, we think there might be a greater opportunity in providing a loyalty program to telecom operators themselves, because with more and more telecom operators in the fray, retaining customers will be a challenge for…
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