Seeding Kerala-2: A Platform for Startup Funding and Expertise Sharing

KOCHI:
In keeping with its mandate to promote and nurture technological innovation and entrepreneurship, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is conducting a two-day conclave from tomorrow, bringing together key government decision-makers, high net-worth investors and promising start-ups from various technology domains.
The platform for knowledge sharing, policy discussion, pitching and expert guidance, titled ‘Seeding Kerala-2’, will be held from June 17-18 at Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology here. Besides meet-and-greet sessionitkeralas and one-on-one chats, it will feature seminars, workshops and panel discussions by a number of prominent personalities in the startup ecosystem, including IT Secretary M. Sivasankar.
“Startups in Kerala come up with out-of-the-box ideas, but many lack adequate awareness of winning business models. In this regard, Seeding Kerala-2 will be a milestone learning experience for them as well as an alternative financing vehicle for early stage startups to spur their respective entrepreneurial journeys,” KSUM CEO Dr Saji Gopinath said.
“The concern here is not so much the availability of funds as the dearth of products that are investment ready or which are scalable. It’s important to know how to articulate ideas and present models when looking for investment. And just as important is perseverance and emotional resilience. Entrepreneurship is not an inborn character trait. It’s a quality developed over time by hard work and passion,” he added.
The two-day event, organised by KSUM in partnership with Let’s Venture, Konglo Ventures, Nasscom and TiE Kerala, will see keynote speeches from such leading lights as Rahul Alex Panicker, whose Embrace Innovations firm was recognised by the UN, and Smt Beena Ammanath, Vice President – Innovation, Board Director and Advisor GE Digital.
Over the two days, a number of important topics – for both early-stage companies and their potential financiers – will be addressed, such as building up scalable technology products, the fundamentals of angel investing, Big Data Analytics, innovation grants from the government, availability of startup clinics, future technologies, prospects for Kerala-based venture capital funding and app pitching, among others.
A parallel track, running concurrent to the sessions above, will see a number of eminent investors share their experiences of, and their reasons for having backed startups, and provide real-world nous to entrepreneurs looking to make their pitches. In addition, six selected startups will make concise pitches for funding and participate in Q&As.
“Cultivating best practices in entrepreneurs is as crucial as facilitating investor connect and investor education. Both high net-worth individuals as well as institutions need to learn the how and why of investing in startups. Events like this, which have them working in close proximity, will give potential investors a deeper understanding of the trends and types of investable home-grown startups,” Dr Gopinath said.
“Investing in early-stage startups is truly an art. Seeding Kerala-2 is a golden opportunity for venture capitalists in Kerala to be at the forefront of this upward trending investment scenario,” he added.
The first edition of Seeding Kerala, held in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this year, brought more than 100 entrepreneurs and over 20 potential investors under the same roof.

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