SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
God’s own country has worked out an ambitious strategy to promote startup and innovation activities. The Kerala Government created the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to serve as the nodal agency for these initiatives.
It has also crafted the Kerala Technology Startup Policy (KTSP), which focuses on an integrated way of creating a startup ecosystem. The Mission includes the startup policy, student startup policy and Kerala Technological University (KTU) policy; regulatory support which deals with direct purchase from startups, infrastructure provision, mentoring, networking and handholding support, capacity building and leadership training, promoting women entrepreneurs, providing grants and seed support, etc.
One of the most interesting aspects of the policy is the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) focused on developing technology-led innovation and entrepreneurship among school/college students and aspiring entrepreneurs. The programme also includes international exchange programmes as well as training programmes for startup CEOs.
KSUM has forged strong partnerships with Center for Bits and Atoms, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kerala Technological University, Cochin University of Science & Technology (CUSAT) and IT@School. It has successfully set up an Innovation Entrepreneurship Development Centre and organised bootcamps in 180 colleges in the State.
The startup ecosystem is linked to schools through the Raspberry Pi Distribution Programme and Electronics @ School implemented by the Kerala Startup Mission with the support of IT@School. The mission is strongly backed by corporates, including Ernst & Young, GE Oil & Gas, Intel Corporation, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Federal Bank and Group of Technology Companies (GTech). Incubators too have a place of pride in KSUM.
A dedicated space, Kerala Technology Innovation Zone (KTIZ) in Kalamassery, Cochin, has been created for bringing together various incubators under one roof. Presently KTIZ comprises BioNest (Biotech incubator), Startup Village, Electronics Incubator and an extended incubation facility of the Kerala Startup Mission. So ‘God’s own Country’ is the place for creating the next big startup.