Kerala to set up hub in US for SV Squared programme winners

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Kochi: The Government of Kerala will sponsor the visit of at least ten student entrepreneurs to the Silicon Valley this year as part of the SV Square programme of Startup Village, and by August, set up a permanent centre in the US to facilitate these visits. This was announced by Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy at the second anniversary celebrations of Kochi based Startup Village.

The Startup Village to Silicon Valley (SV Square) programme which was launched to give young innovators a first-hand experience of the world’ best entrepreneurial ecosystem has been among the most successful initiatives in the two years of the Kochi-based business incubator.

“When the five students briefed the Cabinet after their return from the Silicon Valley last year, we saw the transformational power of this initiative. The students who went were not the same when they returned; their newly found confidence and energy was astounding. They firmly believe in their ability to change Kerala’s economy and industrial landscape in the future and the government is backing this belief and their confidence by funding the visit of ten participants, or more, if required, this year,” the CM added.

Kerala’s IT policy envisages creating 3,000 startups by 2020. Startup Village which supports 600 firms currently has already helped achieve 20% of that goal. The State government is planning to organise a meet of Kerala-based angel investors in the next couple of months to connect them to start-ups looking to raise capital. A total of 15 acres of land has been allocated to create a ‘mini Silicon Valley’ in Kochi, an area that will be known in the future as the Silicon Coast.”

Kris Gopalakrishnan, Startup Village’s Chief Mentor lauded Startup Village as an initiative that was unique in its concept. He also urged Startup Village to branch beyond IT, electronics and telecom to sectors which urgently need entrepreneurship support, such as healthcare, medicine, agriculture and agro products.

Aruna Sundararajan, MD, KSIDC dubbed Startup Village ‘one of the most positive things to come out of Kerala in a decade’. “The current wave of start-ups that Kerala is witnessing, signals a radical change in the deep-rooted cynicism of the people in the State.”

Kerala IT News

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