Kochi, July 8: Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar today welcomed the noteworthy leap in the budgetary allocations for Kerala’s vibrant startup ecosystem and the IT sector, saying it would give a phenomenal boost to world class infrastructure and student entrepreneurship.
The allocation for startups, announced by Finance Minister Shri Thomas Isaac in his maiden budget of the new government, is even higher than that allocated by Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology for the entire country, and the largest so far in the state.
“Shri Isaac has given a fillip to the startup ecosystem with a well-structured and significant allocation that covers all three main components — infrastructure, startup programmes and funding — in the startup ecosystem ,” Mr. Vijayakumar said.
The allocation of Rs 225 crore will add 3.5 lakh sq ft to 1.5 lakh sq ft under construction, taking the total to half a million sq ft.
Startup programmes like Silicon Valley, Raspberry Pi and FABLAB, among others, will see increased allocation of Rs 60 crore. Every new startup idea will get a funding of Rs 2 lakh, with the assistance amount going up significantly to Rs 1 crore interest-free loan from Rs 20 lakh earlier.
“The real game changer is the whopping Rs 150 crore allocation for tele-presence at engineering colleges, which will bring strong industry-academia collaborations and linkages for our students with global mentors from Silicon Valley,” said the Startup Village chairman.
The announced plan to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem at educational institutions and the significant allocations to schools and colleges will foster a new mindset. Rs 500 crore will be invested in hi-tech for schools, and an equal amount has been allocated for upgrading government engineering, arts and science colleges.
A new apprentice scheme is also being planned for engineering students to enable industry-academia collaboration.
“The investment in school education with the aim of bringing them to international standards will have a long-term impact as students will get global exposure resulting in high quality startups,” said Mr. Vijayakumar.
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