Kerala has set an ambitious target of having over 15,000 startups and 200,000 jobs in emerging technologies in five years, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said. He was inaugurating the third edition of the ‘Huddle Global 2022’, organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
The Chief Minister also opened the state’s first Fintech Accelerator and Finishing School on the sidelines of the two-day big-ticket conclave that brings together global leaders from the startup ecosystem to strengthen networking and forging partnerships. Vijayan said the state government has plans to set up an emerging technology startup hub in the state capital, on the lines of the facility existing in Kochi, considering the vital role of the startups in the emerging scenario.
“Startups being the future of the country, Kerala is committed to providing the right ecosystem. Our startups have raised Rs 3,200 crore as equity investments since 2015. Along with startup infrastructure in the Technology Innovation Zone Kochi, the government is considering a similar campus at Thiruvananthapuram, focusing on emerging technologies,” the Chief Minister said.
‘Huddle Global 2022’ offers startups a platform to showcase products and interact with technology/industry leaders, besides providing them the scope to explore ways on moving ahead in the world emerging from Covid-19.
“Given that India is the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem with more than 55,000 startups, the government is aware of the significance of each state’s contribution to the overall development of this national startup ecosystem. Startup India ranking places Kerala as one of the top Indian states for startup environment,” Vijayan said.
“The approach adopted from schools, colleges and to the professional ecosystem has created innovative startups in the state. Various government initiatives such as IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centers, for colleges), YIP (Young Innovators Programme), programmes for incubation and acceleration, corporate innovation, besides Center of Excellences, infrastructure facilities, government as a marketplace scheme, innovation grants, Fund-of-Fund and International Exposure programmes have made Kerala the best place to start and grow enterprises,” the Chief Minister added.
Minister for Industries, Law and Coir P. Rajeeve, in his presidential address to the meet, said Kerala has built a unique model to nurture startups from ideation to the scale up stage.
“KSUM is dedicated to fostering global entrepreneurship to strengthen the startup community in the state as well as across the nation. The goal of Huddle Global is to create an environment where the passion meets the purpose to learn, network, bridge the gap between business, expose potential and see actual result,” Rajeeve added.
In his video message, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, The Lord Mayor of the City of London, and partner in business law firm DLA Piper, said India is on to the way to becoming Asia’s top fintech hub just as the UK is Europe’s top fintech hub. Keaveny added that Kerala is scaling new heights in technology by becoming a stable model ecosystem for startups.
The Fintech Accelerator and Finishing School is an initiative of Kochi-based Open Financial Technologies in collaboration with KSUM to support startups coming up with fintech solutions. Open will be investing Rs 200 crore for the next five years as part of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Fintech Accelerator.
Open Fintech Accelerator, which will launch its first cohort from March 1, is led by Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Deena Jacob and Ajeesh Achuthan. On the first day of the event, KSUM has signed MoUs with Google for Startups, Habitat, Jetro, Global Accelerator Network, I Hub Gujarat, NASSCOM and CSL, among others. One of Asia’s largest startup ecosystem congregations and India’s biggest networking platform for entrepreneurs, the event focuses on business, investment and partnership opportunities for startups amid sustained fights against the pandemic-induced stalemate.
The event, featuring keynote sessions, leadership talks, tech talks, startup demo and other business-oriented activities, has a startup expo of both global and Kerala-based startups. Also, there are pitch sessions and dedicated mentoring sessions. The event is being held on a platform created by KSUM to accommodate more than 2,000 people. Kerala IT Parks are also joining hands with KSUM in the conference.