Kerala has built most vibrant startup ecosystem in India, says CM


Pinarayi Vijayan at Huddle Global of KSUM | Photo: Facebook/KSUM

Thiruvananthapuram: Noting that Kerala has built the most vibrant startup ecosystem in the country that is comparable to the best anywhere in the world, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday assured his government's full support to startups which have a pivotal role to play in the state's journey towards a knowledge economy.

He was delivering the inaugural address at the two-day 'Huddle Global', Asia's largest tech conclave organized by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in Kovalam near here. Vijayan said an Emerging Technology startup hub will be set up in the state capital to further strengthen the incubation infrastructure and support innovation programmes. Observing that the state offered the best opportunities for a wide array of enterprises for startups in various domains like IT, VT (Virtualization Technology), and food processing, the CM said a major initiative to connect tourism industry with startup ecosystem is in the offing.

"The Kerala government envisions to have 15,000 startups and two lakh jobs. This financial year alone the state has witnessed creation of one lakh small and medium enterprises", he said. The state supports startups through Innovation Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) and Youth Innovation Programme (YIP). The digital infrastructure has been scaled up with the launch of K fon and Information Highway.

These enable anyone with an innovative idea from any part of the world to come to Kerala and set up their enterprise and flourish in a most conducive atmosphere. The CM said by bringing a wide range of global audiences together, Huddle Global has been able to introduce Kerala's startup ecosystem to the world, setting it on a trajectory of accelerated growth. On the occasion, Vijayan released the 5th Kerala Startup Ecosystem Report.

He also presented the Pride of Kerala Award to Genrobotics, which developed the sewer cleaning robot Bandicoot to phase out manual scavenging. Vimal Govind MK, Co-founder, Genrobotics, received the award. More than 3,000 participants from India and abroad, seeking business, investment, and partnership opportunities, are attending the meet. Dr K M Abraham, former Chief Secretary and Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, said it was significant that this conclave is happening at a time when immense opportunities are opening up for budding entrepreneurs in India and Kerala is strongly positioned to take advantage of this situation.

"There are strong signs of recovery. Investor confidence in startups in Kerala as the top performer is robust. The startups in the state are rated as the best affordable ones in Asia," he said. Kerala's acclaimed ecosystem is not something that has been built overnight, Dr Abraham said and drew attention to a slew of projects and programmes in various stages of development across the state which offered vast opportunities, especially for the budding entrepreneurs.

Welcoming the gathering, KSUM CEO Shri Anoop Ambika said as Kerala's flagship startup event, Huddle Global brings a lot of value to the state's innovation ecosystem. The event opens up immense opportunities for participating startups who embody the entrepreneurial spirit of Kerala, he added. V K Mathews, Executive Chairman-IBS Software, said India's tech sector has been passing through the best ever period and that offered great opportunities for young entrepreneurs if the situation is leveraged carefully and industriously.

"Kerala has an abundant pool of talent, infrastructure, political and social stability and provides easy access to political leadership and bureaucracy, which together make the state an ideal destination for enterprises," Mathews, also Chairman of G Tech, added. KSUM, the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, has been organising 'Huddle Kerala' since 2018. The previous editions saw the country-wide participation of more than 5,000 startups, besides investors, government officials, academia, and business community.

PTI

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