India is the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem with over 55,000 startups today and according to Startup India; Kerala is one of the top Indian states for a startup environment, in terms of performance.
The contribution of each state to the overall development of India’s National Startup Ecosystem is key to this growth. Over the years, several targeted policies and schemes have been introduced with a focus on disruptive technology, women entrepreneurs, and grassroots innovators to drive inclusive growth in the ecosystem. Additionally, state-supported incubators, mentorship networks, and funding opportunities have also expanded across the state.
The Kerala Startup Mission is the central agency of the Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in Kerala, India. The state has set an ambitious target of having over 15,000 startups and 200,000 jobs in emerging technologies in the next five years, it was recently announced by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the third edition of the ‘Huddle Global 2022’, organized by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
The state is also home to the first Fintech Accelerator and Finishing School that offers global leaders from the startup ecosystem a platform to strengthen networking and forge partnerships.
So, what makes Kerala a unique startup destination?
Kerala has built for itself a unique model that nurtures startups from ideation to scale-up stage. The state is also scaling new heights in technology by becoming a stable model ecosystem for startups.
At Kerala Pravasi Association, we believe that the Malayali expatriate population, with their international exposure to a professional ecosystem, working and with people from various nationalities and cultures, must bring their innovative ideas onboard and introduce a fresh and open mindset, which can be leveraged to take any startup idea to the next level.
Pravasi’s can also lend their expertise into the state’s mentorship networks and create more funding opportunities for new entrepreneurs.
With access, experience and know-how on various technologies and the ability to work in a multi-cultural work environment, they bring on board new and exciting implementations, at a more personalized level but at international standards.
The Kerala government offer an excellent range of initiatives such as IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centers, for colleges), YIP (Young Innovators Programme), programs for incubation and acceleration, corporate innovation, besides the Center of Excellences, infrastructure facilities, government as a marketplace scheme, innovation grants, Fund-of-Fund and International Exposure programs and so much more, making it an ideal place to launch and grow new enterprises.
Besides Kochi, Kerala plans to extend launch a new emerging technology startup hub in Thiruvananthapuram too offering all the facilities now available in Kochi.
Startups are the future of the country and Kerala has shown its commitment in providing the right ecosystem to our future entrepreneurs. According to KSUM, startups in the state have raised over Rs 3,200 crore as equity investments since 2015.
For those looking to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, success is easier to find when there is more clarity in your vision. It is as important to study the market, understand competitors or similar products and find the gaps to make the most of these startup programs and funds.
Choosing the right investor is key to growth too. An investor who not only believes in your idea but someone who is willing to help you stretch your ideas to the next level. Investment comes not just in the form of money but sharing their experiences and timely advice to take the idea to the next level is priceless.
Trust yourself and remember that it is OK to pivot at the right time if the outcome is not as per your idea.