The Kerala government founded & initiated the Kerala Startup Mission in 2006, long before the Prime Minister of India commenced the Startup India initiative in 2015.
Today, being the third-largest startup ecosystem, India is the homeland of several unicorns & multi-million dollar companies. Startups like Zomato, Ola Cabs, Paytm, and Oyo have not only taken over a significant portion of the Indian marketplace with their innovative approach but have also expanded internationally.
Kerala has instilled and engraved rich entrepreneurial culture in its state, beginning at a student level, making up for a healthy startup ecosystem in the past 13 years.
What is Kerala StartUp Mission (KSUM)?
Founded in 2006, Kerala startup Mission comes under Kerala state government’s initiative for developing entrepreneurship and incubation activities in the state. Formerly known as Technopark TBI (Technology Business Incubator), KSUM was initially initiated as a startup accelerator in Kerala to promote tech-based entrepreneurship activities while providing the infrastructure & environment requirements to support HiTech-based ventures. KSUM gives guidance, networking, mentorship, business opportunities, & assistance in funding startups & young entrepreneurs in the state of Kerala.
Various programs, facilities & schemes laid out by Kerala StartUp Mission
Programs under Kerala StartUp Mission
- Incubation Programme: A startup’s early development is divided into three stages, namely, the pre-incubation stage or ideation stage(3-6 months), the incubation stage(6-12 months), and the accelerator stage (3-6 months). KSUM presents the startups in their incubation stage with modular space, any applicable funding, and mentorship as well as services like entrepreneur training and workshops.
- Raspberry Pi Programme: Also known as Learn to Code, is a program launched in 2015 by KSUM to discover talented young (Class 8th students) programmers.
- Startup Box Programme: Under this program, 50 college teams & aspiring entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to claim their Startup Box consisting of documents required to start a company & key technologies like an Arduino starter kit annually.
Facilities under Kerala StartUp Mission
- Fab Labs: A FabLab is a technical prototyping platform where individuals & teams can design & build their own technology. It provides a digital fabrication that empowers & encourages people to invent, innovate & create customized smart devices.
- Technology Innovation Zone: The state plans to launch the Tech Innovation Zone soon with world-class infra facilities to help incubate & support startups and become a global innovation incubator hub for many tech sectors under a canopy.
- Funding: The Kerala Startup Mission gives startups a chance to raise capital by connecting with investors at the Investor Cafe event that is held every month.
Schemes under Kerala StartUp Mission
- Startup Scheme: The KSUM has been actively introducing various programs for developing entrepreneurial stigma in the youth of Kerala. Under the Startup Scheme services like Entrepreneur support Services, R & D connect, marketing support & mentorship programs are provided to help boost the initial journey of a startup.
- Rent Subsidy Scheme: The Kerala Startup Mission provides rental support to startups in their scale-up stage by giving reimbursement of a portion or rent paid as a subsidy for a limited period. The maximum rent compensation provided is either equal to 50% or Rs20/sq.ft, whichever is lower.
According to The State of Kerala Startup Ecosystem 2019 report by the Kerala StartUp Mission, a total of $44 million funding was raised by startups in 2019 with over 80 investors, 10 active Venture Capital firms, 230 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Centres, more than 40 Incubators, 4+ Accelerators & over 11 Coworking Spaces in Kerala.