Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal held discussions with startup entrepreneurs and angel investors in the run-up to next week’s budget, emphasizing the critical role of nascent firms in boosting funding of the state’s industry and giving an impetus to its overall economy.
The Finance Minister had, while inaugurating a flagship initiative of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) last week, said the state’s startup ecosystem would play a major role in bolstering future investments.
“Kerala needs to develop an investment culture by creating awareness among the high networth (HNI) individuals about the potential of the ecosystem,” he had noted at the seventh edition of Seeding Kerala.
In continued spirit of his speech, Balagopal initiated pre-budget talks with top investors. They included Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Quatrro CMD Raman Roy, Indian Angel Network (IAN) Co-founder Padmaja Ruparel, angel investor Ravindranath Kamath, Terumo Penpol Chairman, Independent Director C. Balagopal and Eastern Condiments Chairman Navas Meeran, besides representatives of Unicorn Ventures, Speciale Invest Funds and Artha Ventures.
The investors told the minister that they were looking forward with “great hope” towards investment opportunities in the state. They also made a strong case for providing incentives to startup entrepreneurs in order to bring in more industrial funding to the state.
Balagopal also held talks with chosen startup founders.
India last year saw an investment inflow of 40 million dollars into its startups. Kerala must make best use of this industrial climate to ensure more funds to the state’s startups, the founders told the minister. They also briefed him about the challenges and issues facing the startups in the state.
The startup entrepreneurs reiterated their enthusiasm over the minister’s announcement about a big role awaiting them in future investments in Kerala.