Startup Village set to launch 2nd phase

Kochi :After the successful first phase of operations, Startup Village here is aiming to align itself with the Centre’s ‘Startup India’ programme in the second round during which it will scale up activity pan-India.

The ‘Startup India’ programme, to be launched on January 16th, is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project to strengthen entrepreneurship.

“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 digitise the incubation process and launch a new business model,” Chairman of Startup Village Sanjay Vijayakumar 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, he said.

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,” 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 has said it 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 Vijayakumar, who set up MobME Wireless Solutions, one of India’s first campus startups.