Over the past decade Kerala has taken remarkable steps to foster entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovative ventures. The State Government implemented its Technology Startup Policy 2014 through Kerala Startup Mission which encompasses all aspects like technology, infrastructure, funding and industry relations to give wings to ventures and startup ideas in Kerala.
Last decade witnessed waves of entrepreneurship and innovation lash across the shores of Kerala bolstered by Kerala Startup Mission.
So what is Kerala Startup Mission?
Kerala is the first state in the country to identify, develop and formulate a startup policy in 2014 and as a result right now there are around 1500 startups developing innovative products and technology. This policy required the State to determine an institution working solely for the betterment of startup ecosystem and thus Kerala Startup Mission was born.
KSUM plays a crucial and focal role in shaping the entrepreneurial ecosystem and nurturing the startup culture. Not just startups and innovative ventures but even established and famous entrepreneurs in Kerala seek assistance and mentorship from KSUM.
What can Entrepreneurs in Kerala look forward to?
KSUM is abuzz with myriad schemes, projects, programmes and events fostering and propagating the startup ecosystem.
The Kerala Startup Village, Kochi initiated by KSUM is one such project. KSUM built in the Startup Village at High Tech Park in Kalamassery and it has been able to incubate 450 startups so far. Famous entrepreneurs from Kerala, CEOs and other eminent personalities have joined hands with the Government to promote and mentor startups.
Another feather to the cap is the Startup Complex, Cochin inaugurated on 13th January, 2019 to boost the startup incubation and acceleration, is one of its kind in the entire country. The eight storeyed complex spread across 1.82 acres houses Bionest to promote medical technologies, BRINC, India’ first international accelerator for hardware startups, BRIC, an incubator facility for cancer research and Maker Village for electronics incubation. It also has an exclusive Centre of Excellence set up by industry majors such as UNITY and CERA.
What are the different startup incubators in Kerala?
Incubation: Startups can now register and go through a methodical 3 month incubation programme by KSUM giving them access and mentorship from industry experts and exposing them to real situations through workshops.
Lab: Fab Lab and Future Technologies Lab initiative provides tools and hardware equipment for startups and students for research or studies.
Investors: KSUM organizes the investor café for business ideas that need the funding fuel. The workshop allows seekers to meet the investors and to pitch their ideas to them.
Student Schemes: With an aim to create an entrepreneurial mindset right from young age KSUM has implemented various schemes for students. Many labs have been set up in schools and colleges intertwining with research centres and industries for the growth of student entrepreneurs.
Accelerator Programmes: Accelerator programmes helps startups to take their giant leap by providing the right infrastructure and mentorship. EY has partnered with KSUM for one such accelerator programme and any startup can apply for these. A three month virtual entrepreneurship programme in conjunction with Zone Startups (a global brand of tech accelerators and VC funds operated by Toronto based Reyson Futures Inc) gives national exposure to start ups.
Nothing can get better for entrepreneurs with the facilities offered by the Government for new opportunities and business ideas in Kerala. The entire ecosystem is revamped by building a strong base which connects schools, colleges, research centres, government and startups so as to align them in one direction in the future. Many labs have been set up in schools and colleges to train minds from grassroots levels to churn out right candidates with entrepreneurial skillsets.
Thus the sun is bright and prospects are high for startups in Kochi and whole of Kerala. There are many startups who have benefitted from these initiatives either through incubation programmes, funding or mentorship. Some of these startups like I Bo, Jobveno.com and even Ilove9months has been featured on Keralainsider.
Kerala has always ranked high on literacy, gender equality, health statistics and skilled workforce and it now on roads to become a haven for investors and entrepreneurs alike. So the best business to start in Kerala is a “startup”