Kerala Startup Mission ramps up efforts to ensure robust ecosystem in state- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), one of the top five incubation centres in the world, has planned a slew of initiatives this year to ensure a robust startup ecosystem in the state. The agency has also prepared a 10-point action plan to help startups here scale globally.

The current focus is on bolstering agri-tech startups in the state. As part of this, KSUM’s Global Immersion Programme aims to select ten agri-tech startups in the state and fly them to Israel, where they will meet their Israeli counterparts and accelerators. This, officials believe, will help hone their products even further.

“Israel is a country that is self-sufficient in agriculture, thanks to advanced technologies. So through the programme, we will explore how we too could replicate that success,” said Ashok Kurian Panjikkaran, head of business development and incubation at KSUM. After the USA, Israel has the second-largest startup ecosystem in the world.

“We will evaluate whether the selected agri-tech startup has a market opportunity in Israel. Their products will be showcased to Israeli startups and accelerators in February. If it is seen that the products are viable, we will arrange in-person discussions in March. If the startups are successful, Israel will provide them with benefits such as funding, investments and other assistance,” the KSUM officer added.

Another significant initiative of KSUM is to have mechanisms in place to facilitate funding, mentorship, business, and global exposure to startups from various fields. There is also the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre Summit. This is scheduled to be held in Kochi on March 4. The Summit will have over 6,000 aspiring student entrepreneurs joining for knowledge sharing and business formation.

Other initiatives
At the Seeding Kerala event on March 6, high-net-worth individuals (HNI) from Kerala will come together and invest in technology startups. The invited 200 HNIs will have the opportunity to meet with Venture Capital funds and startups.

Major technology events like the health tech summit, Internet Of Things (IOT) summit, the procurement summit, and the fintech summit will be continued in a more focused way, targeting startups and investors along with the business community to bridge the investment and business gap.

Sector-specific incubation programmes will be developed to support startups focusing on different technologies like enterprise software, fintech, agri-tech and health technology. Startup innovation zones will be developed to support startups that come out with world-class innovative products after tying up with different government departments.

Monthly investor education programmes named ‘Ignite’ will be held in each district to educate investors on the investment scenario and opportunities. Research innovation programmes with various universities and research institutions will be made ongoing to develop and commercialise the research projects. Launchpads in different countries will be formulated to give startups global exposure.

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