The Kerala Startup Mission aka KSUM has announced to host Idea Day in college campuses to encourage and fund innovative ideas, projects, and products. The initiative came in soon after the launch of $78 Mn Fund of Funds, which looks to invest in Kerala startups in next three years.
Reportedly, the innovation fund will be routed to the novel projects through Innovation Entrepreneurship Development Centers (IEDC) in 196 colleges across the state and technology product startups from outside.
As KSUM CEO Dr. Saji Gopinath said, “the KSUM has identified many projects from the IEDC across the State. They can be scaled up for the social good as well as bringing it out to be a patentable product. When financial support is given to such projects, the students will also be motivated. This will enable them to think about more innovative projects,” he said.
He further added, “If funding support is extended to these innovative projects and startups, it will be a handholding to the students for taking their projects to the next level. This would help flourish the startup ecosystem from the college-level.”
The financial grant will be given in the Idea Grant, Prototype Grant and Scale-up Grant categories.
KSUM: From Kerala Startup Village To hosting Idea Day in State Colleges
KSUM is the implementing agency of Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state. KSUM was formerly known as the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), a society under the Travancore Cochin literary, Scientific and charitable Societies Registration Act XII of 1955 and started the incubation programme in the name of Technopark Business Incubation Centre (TBIC) in 2002. In 2012, Kerala Startup Mission was taken up by Govt. of Kerala and entrusted as the agency for implementing the entrepreneurship development programmes in the state.
Earlier in July 2017, the state government announced 12 startup projects under the State Poverty Eradication Mission’s Kudumbashree programme. As per reports, the projects will be part of the Startup Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) by the Union Ministry of Rural Development. KSUM currently has more than 750 startups under its wings.
In June, Kerala’s IT Secretary M Sivasankar proposed to set up a government-partnered funding system for startups. In the light of these developments, the setting up of a dedicated funds of funds by the Kerala government, under the guidance of KSUM will definitely provide financial assistance and an impetus to the startup ecosystem in the state.
The Government of Kerala launched its technology startup policy in 2014. The initiative aims to build an entrepreneurial society in Kerala and minimise the brain drain from the state. Since then, there has been no look back for the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As per a 2015 startup ecosystem report by KSUM, startups in Kerala are majorly focussed on sectors such as hardware, software/IT, biotechnology, and agri-based. However, young entrepreneurs in the state are now also heading towards niche other categories including healthtech, machine-learning and more. Adding a college level fund to boost innovation will certainly help the state boost the entrepreneurial mindset further. The KSUM Idea Day will be conducted on the first Saturday of every month. Also, the last date for receiving applications for the grant this month has been extended to September 29.
The development was reported by ET.