The New Indian Express | Express News Service | 16th July 2016 |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government’s decision to set aside Rs 300 crore annually for startups is a major shot in the arm for young budding entrepreneurs who have set their eyes on a brighter business future in the coming years. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who holds the portfolio of IT has promised the government’s support for a conducive environment for startups in the state, which requires heavy funding as well as institutional support. One of the key provisions in the budget on startup was the expansion of Innovation Zone at Kalamassery which has been made the hub of incubation. A 3.4 lakh square feet of building space would be created with a total allocation of Rs 225 crore alone.
1500 startups in 5 yrs
If all goes well, the state plans to encourage 1500 startups within a period of five years. According to the Chief Minister, if anybody has a fresh idea, the government was willing to support the project with a generous grant of Rs 2 lakh. Rs 1 crore each will be given to selected ideas and won’t be charged any interest. The Kerala Financial Corporation will spend Rs 50 crore for the same.
Startup Village 2.0
Startup Village which has become synoymous with entrepreneurial culture among the Information and Communication Technology sector launched its digital avatar, SV.CO on Wednesday. The online platform was launched by the Chief Minister in the presence of the Startup Village mentor and former CEO of Infosys Kris Gopalakrishnan at CET campus in Thiruvananthapuram. SV.CO provides #StartInCollege# programme, and offers a month of free training to students in entrepreneurship. Students can form teams and apply at sv.co. Once selected, they will be guided throughout the entire procedure, from picking an idea to building a prototype to the time of its launch within six months. Based on whether customers like the product, teams can then graduate to incubators, accelerators, raise angel funding, and even get acqui-hired as a team or get hired to other startups or go for higher studies. The Chief Minister announced a five-step strategy for students, including world class infrastructure on par with Silicon Valley, world class communication infrastructure, world class talent pipeline, world class funding infrastructure and world class incubators through public private partnership (PPP) models like Startup Village, to encourage healthy competition.
Becoming the best
The CM’s statement that he wants Kerala’s startups to beat major IT companies has been well-received by many in the state. When he said the state’s allocation was higher than that of the Central Government’s Department of Science and Technology, the head of National S&T Entrepreneurship Development Board H K Mittal who was present at the venue nodded in acknowledgement. Kris Gopalakrishnan said it was important to become a startup nation, if the country wanted to receive the developed country tag. Vice Chancellor of KTU, Kuncheria P Isaac who was instrumental in introducing a minor degree in entrepreneurship along with the four-year BTech course applauded the move to support startups. – Courtesy