In January 2019, KSUM launched the Integrated Startup Complex in Kochi, spread over 1.80 lakh sq ft with dedicated facilities for various tech sectors
$44 Mn in funding raised by Kerala-based startups in 2019 so far through 13 investment deals
The state has been a pioneer in terms of hardware and product-focussed startups at various levels
Startups in Kerala are developing solutions in newer and better ways thanks to a whole host of support systems and infrastructure created to nurture futuristic technologies.
The state is home to 2200 startups (as of Sept 2019) with 230 innovation and entrepreneurship development cells, over 35 incubators, more than five accelerators, and 11+ coworking spaces. But beyond this it is the constant effort of the government to support innovation at the grassroots level that has paid rich dividends.
In order to gain a thorough understanding of where the startup ecosystem currently stands and the way forward, it is essential to gauge the effectiveness of the different startup-related schemes, activities and summits that have been put forth so far by the government of Kerala through the mission.
With this objective, the Kerala Startup Ecosystem report — a joint initiative by TiE Kerala, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), and Datalabs by Inc42, the data and research wing of Inc42 — was launched recently at the TiEcon Kerala 2019, Kerala’s largest entrepreneurial convention, by TiE Kerala.
The report encapsulates key information and statistics about the growth achieved by the Kerala startup ecosystem and the efforts of KSUM, the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities.
Kerala has always stood out as one of the most literate and skilled states in India. In no other states have schools, colleges, incubators, government institutes and startups been so efficiently interlinked. This has created an excellent opportunity for the growth of innovation, investment and entrepreneurship, which is being supported by KSUM’s initiatives.
In order to understand how each stakeholder in the startup ecosystem has played a role and contributed to the growth, it has also become essential to showcase the progress made by the state’s startups.
In this report, we will study the overall impact of all the initiatives, state’s economy and socio-economic impact of startups in Kerala’s vibrant ecosystem.
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Kerala’s infrastructure, with a dominant service sector and excellent connectivity by road (4.62 KM per thousand population as compared to the national average of 2.59 KM), is deemed ideal for the development of a thriving business ecosystem. Moreover, the state has been successful in building a model that identifies, nurtures and promotes innovation and talent within itself.
With major business hubs in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is home to prestigious educational institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and National Institute of Technology (NIT). Kochi has started becoming a preferred destination for setting base for startups as well in recent years. From 6% in 2018, the district is now home to over 10% of the state’s startups.
With over 2200 startups (35% increase compared to 2018) already in existence, many young entrepreneurs are flocking to Kerala to start their ventures. Other aspects that have proven immensely beneficial for startups in the state are the relatively low cost of operations, funding and research grants support, skill development programmes, access to modern technology and equipment, and other resources from the state government.
Kerala Startup Ecosystem Report gives a detailed overview of the various ecosystem enablers that are powering the Kerala startup scene and the ground level initiatives that have been undertaken to instil an entrepreneurial mindset among students.
Through its network of 230 IEDC cells in professional colleges, mini incubators enable students to work on prototypes while studying. In January 2019, KSUM launched the Integrated Startup Complex in Kochi, a sprawling complex, spread over 1.80 lakh sq ft with dedicated facilities for various tech sectors. It also hosts:
- Maker Village — India’s largest electronic hardware incubator and ESDM facility
- Bionest — State of the art biotechnology instrumentation platform to promote and
- develop new entrepreneurs
- BRINC — India’s first international accelerator for hardware startups
- BRIC — an incubator dedicated to developing solutions for cancer diagnosis and care
- Centre of Excellence established by UNITY and CERA
In March 2019, KSUM launched STADE (Space Technology Application Development Ecosystem) which is also backed by Indian space agency ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and Airbus Bizlab. It was established in Trivandrum and startups from across the world are encouraged to be a part of this spacetech initiative.
The DataLabs By Inc42 report also provides information about the startup events being hosted in Kerala to fuel the entrepreneurial mindset and help budding entrepreneurs. Its promising list of tech communities makes for a great resource for both entrepreneurs and employers alike.
The report further includes lists of R&D institutes, incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces for entrepreneurs who work with limited resources. It also delves into the investors that are backing this breed of next-gen entrepreneurs in Kerala, along with the state’s top 50 startups and top innovations.
“We believe that Kerala Startup Mission plays a significant role in helping startups leverage tech for the socioeconomic development of the state. The Kerala startup ecosystem report is a valuable guide to all stakeholders and prospective entrepreneurs and provides insights about the growth so far” said Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM.