Kerala’s young as well as seasoned entrepreneurs are looking at better prospects to start their venture – And Kochi is the first choice for many!
With its geographical positioning, readily available infrastructure, metro, road, rail and sea links and nearness to a busy international airport, Kochi has always been the commercial capital of Kerala.
Startups thrive on 6 fundamentals blocks – High market opportunity, best timing, high growth ambition, high scalability, balanced and skilled team and best of team spirit. Over the past few years, Kerala’s startup ecosystem matured enough to offer all of that. From a state that used to house student entrepreneurs, it can now boast of several mature startups with millions in revenue.
In the early years, entrepreneurs used to flock to Bangalore, which was famous for providing ample opportunities for the digital companies to scale up. But many of them are now choosing to return to Kerala for many reasons. With the founding of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in 2006, the state transformed itself into a startup friendly space with improved infrastructure, lesser distractions and better work life balance. KSUM pioneered as incubators for technology based startups, providing them with skill improvement trainings, industry institute linkages and much needed networks. The government also offered support to student as well as seasoned entrepreneurs in terms of grants, mentors and contacts.
How is Kochi faring?
Most of the entrepreneurs who are now setting Kochi as their base agree that it is the best choice in the long run. With its geographical positioning, readily available infrastructure, metro, road, rail and sea links and nearness to a busy international airport, Kochi has always been the commercial capital of Kerala. Combine that with the rich startup friendly ecosystem and vibrant talent pool at affordable price, it’s the absolute favourite of budding entrepreneurs.
Kochi is already known for its many successful startups. Being an established tech-front hub, it’s interesting to learn about an FMCG based startup named PLiNG. A local brand of banana and Cassava chips, the company recently raised 1.3 crores of equity funding. Started in 2016 by Andrine Mendez, it is the first FMCG startup in Kerala. Proving the versatility of the ecosystem, another startup came out of Kochi as a blessing for movie buffs! In July 2015, Vivek Paul and Blaise Crowley launched Reelmonk.com – an online portal that screens new releases simultaneously with their theatrical release. With over 45,000 signups and featuring 130 movies, Reelmonk.com makes regional cinema available to their fans.
Edtech is another upcoming market in India. Customized e-learning solution Entri is a plug-and-play platform that helps students prepare and learn for their competitive exams. This Kochi based startup founded by Mohammed Hisamuddin and Rahul Ramesh has received a seed funding of $170,000 from Boston-based edtech accelerator LearnLaunch. Another fresh idea from a bunch of student entrepreneurs that caught a lot of attention was Spenwise, a financial tool that teaches and aids the youth to use money responsibly. Auzora Technologies Pvt Ltd founded by Ajmal Azeez, Aswin R, Kishan Pankaj, and Balram P, launched this product with a vision that exceeds all expectations.
Without doubt, Kochi is all set to be the next big startup hub in our country.