· Targets supporting 10,000 campus startup teams across India by 2020
· Incubation process to be fully digitized in Phase II
Kochi, Dec 29: After exceeding the targets for its first phase of operations (2011-15), Startup Village in Kochi is set to launch the second phase, during which it will scale up operations across the country by aligning itself with the Prime Minister’s “Startup India” programme.
“In Phase I, we succeeded in creating a seed entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kerala. In the next five years we plan to support 10,000 campus startup teams across the country, completely digitize the incubation process and launch a new business model,” said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Startup Village.
He said a detailed report on the successful completion of Phase I had been submitted to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
The Startup India Programme is an ambitious project by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen entrepreneurship and is to be launched on January 16th.
Startup Village, , India’s first PPP technology business incubator, had also taken inputs for Phase II expansion based on an independent Third Party audit by Prof. Rakesh Basant, who teaches economics at IIM Ahmedabad.
“Startup Village has managed to build a momentum for an entrepreneurial culture in Kerala and has begun to create an entrepreneurial eco-system. The challenge is to sustain this momentum, scale-up and become financially self-sustaining,” Prof Basant noted in his report.
“As Startup Village moves to the next phase, I want to congratulate the Kerala Government on the pioneering initiatives it took to foster the startup environment in Kerala,” said Infosys co-founder and Startup Village mentor Kris Gopalakrishnan, “The state government will continue to support startups by scaling up physical incubation across Kerala, including Kochi.”
Sanctioned in 2011 by the DST, Startup Village was set up with the aim of incubating 48 startups over a period of five years.
“Going much beyond its established targets, Startup Village experimented with an array of new bold ideas, which have created not just an incubator but a robust startup ecosystem in Kerala. We are now on the cusp of implementing an ambitious plan to spread its ethos at the national level and produce startups straight from schools and colleges,” said Mr Vijayakumar, who set up MobME Wireless Solutions, one of India’s first campus startups.
A major feature of the expansion plan is complete digitization of the incubation process —right from application process to admission, allocation of resources, learning, funding, connecting to mentors and experts, integration with university education and final graduation.
“Activities of Startup Village will now be completely digital and paperless,” Mr Vijayakumar said, adding: “It will span the entire incubation life cycle management of a startup.”
He said the incubator has received over 7,000 applications, making it imperative to digitize its operations just like e-commerce companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal packing more items in their online stores as compared to a traditional brick and mortar store.
MobME will provide the initial investment of Rs four crores for scaling up the digital learning platform for the second phase of the Startup village.
It has already launched the beta version of the first of its kind online digital platform —SV.CO (www.sv.co) - that provides online learning course on creating new startups. It has a feature to bring on experienced employees in leading startups and technology companies as visiting faculty to support young startups. Also, it has online mentor connect, which will help connect mentors from the Silicon Valley.
“I look forward to supporting both the physical initiatives by the government of Kerala and new digital incubation initiatives through SV.CO, “ Kris Gopalakrishnan said.
Startup Village, recognized by the Union Government as the Best Technology Business Incubator in 2015, has already tied up with five universities for integrating entrepreneurship with curriculum. These are: Gujarat Technological University and Gujarat Law Society; Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University at Anantapur and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh; and APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) in Kerala.
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