Developed under the tutelage of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala inaugurated the country’s largest start-up ecosystem in its capital city Kochi.
Spread across 1.8 lakh square feet in the Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ), the Integrated Startup Complex under the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is also South Asia’s biggest incubator for upcoming enterprises, with modern technology for various segments to boot. It aims to provide quality infrastructure for incubation and acceleration of startups, a statement by the nodal agency said.
The facility includes state-of-the-art facilities for hardware startups sponsored by Maker Village and BRINC; medical technologies aimed at cancer diagnosis and cure, courtesy of the BioNest and BRIC. It also houses a Centre of Excellence set up by industry majors such as UNITY.
After the completion of three more projects, Kerala will have startup and incubation space of 5 lakh square feet, the largest in the world.
For this year, the objective is to expand the total area of IT space to 2.3 lakh square feet, compared to 1.3 lakh square feet last year.
Vijayan in his speech at Kalamassery last week said, “We are also planning to give direct jobs to 2.5 lakh in IT,” adding that IT must work in conjunction with social development.
Noting the number of patent applications that originated in the TIZ startups, Vijayan was optimistic about the quality of work being done in the zone. Founding the incubator and propping it up with the right investors, mentors and infrastructural help was the necessary next step, he said. He also acknowledged the increase in software export from the state.
Kalamassery MLA Ebrahim Kunju said Kerala has proved itself as a southern superpower in the field of IT and incubation. “We expect more help from the government in its related
Hype is real
M Sivasankar, secretary, IT (Kerala), pointed out that the entire space at the TIZ facility has been sold out.
“This has never happened in our country, where it usually takes a couple of years for an incubator to get the whole area occupied,” he is reported as saying by Mint. “The first three floors of the new complex have been furnished, while the rest of the floors have already got allotted to various startups.”
“The campus has another incubator complex coming up and it will be opened early next year,” Sivasankar added.
The innovation hub has 20 companies involved in deep research in biotechnology and allied fields, dozens of nascent firms from sectors covering computer-aided design, augmented/virtual reality and advanced communication, besides established stalwarts in hardware.
BRINC which is the country’s first international accelerator for hardware startups will bring its expertise to the table along with the Maker Village and its 30-odd startups.
BRIC inaugurated by Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja will work mainly in fighting cancer as per the state’s Cancer Strategic Action Plan, with a sponsorship worth Rs 350 crore.
Other incubators of note
In 2018, Rajasthan inaugurated the Bhamashah Techno Hub in the industrial belt of Jaipur, claiming it to be the country’s biggest startup incubator. It is reportedly equipped with modern technology to help around 700 entrepreneurs work under one roof. The Rajasthan government also came up with a scheme called i-start which has provided 1,000 registered startups with digital solutions.
Prior to this, Telangana’s T-Hub was
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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