Kochi to sign sister city MoU with Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park


Kochi: Kerala’s IT aspirations are set to get a major leg up as the State’s technology startup hub gets ready to sign sister city agreement with Menlo Park in California, USA, to facilitate mutually beneficial educational, cultural, social and economic exchanges.

Kochi, which is home to Startup Village, Infopark and the upcoming Smart City, will sign an MoU with the US city.

Catherine Carlton, Mayor of Menlo Park, and two senior officials arrived in Kerala today on a six-day visit ahead of the signing of the agreement on February 11.

It will be the first twin city agreement between Menlo Park and any Indian city, and it aims to create a bridge between Silicon Valley and the emerging Silicon Coast in Kerala.

Home to Internet giant Facebook, Menlo Park is at the heart of the Silicon Valley and the MoU is expected to propel Kerala’s fast-growing IT centres including Startup Village, India’s first PPP-model technology business incubator, to the global stage.

Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy, who will witness the signing of the MoU in Thiruvananthapuram, said the twinning is appropriate as well as timely. “Like Menlo Park for California, Kochi is a key financial and business centre that makes major contributions to the Kerala economy.”

“More importantly for us, Menlo Park is home to global technology companies that our start-ups and young entrepreneurs look up to, and venture capitalists who can mentor and support them,” he added.

Over the last three years, the Kerala government has taken various measures to create ecosystem favouring entrepreneurship among youth and fostering a startup culture right from schools and colleges.

Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar said his business incubator was looking for realisation of 10 sub-themes from the US delegation’s visit to Kerala. These include strides in the fields of education, finance, infrastructure, industrial development, knowledge-sharing, tourism, culture and social development.

Ms Carlton and her team will visit Startup Village and Infopark, Kochi on February 9. On February 11, they will meet CM; IT Minister, Shri P K Kunhalikutty; and others in the State Capital.

Kerala IT News