Kochi: Displaying unparalleled speed of execution by supporting 530-plus nascent firms in three years, Startup Village has won the National Award for Technology Business Incubator, thus reflecting a sea change in entrepreneurship in Kerala known for its hostility to industry.
Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman and Pranav Kumar, CEO of the Kochi-based business incubator, received the award from the Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan at a function in New Delhi today to mark the National Technology Day, bagging Rs. 3 lakhs and a trophy for their not-for-profit firm that is planning to now expand as an electronics incubator.
In his address, the Minister urged entrepreneurs for a ‘renewed vision’, saying a reassessment of strategy could fetch better results.
Sanjay said the award would boost Startup Village’s plan to launch a billion-dollar campus startup in India by 2022, when the incubator would complete its first decade and the country would be celebrating the 75th year of Independence.
Incepted in April 2012 as the country’s first Public-Private-Partnership model Technology Business Incubator, Startup Village is directly promoted by the Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST), along with the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi-based MobME Wireless Solutions, a 2006 founded company focused on mobile internet services for mobile-phone users.
Startup Village, which has the Government of Kerala providing the infrastructure, marked a paradigm shift in PPP, which was hitherto practiced in the infrastructure sector. “Instead, we focus mobile-internet innovations by primarily incubating student start-ups,” he noted, pointing out about the experiment was ‘unique’ also because the incubator was outside premier institutes such as IITs and IIMs.
The venture proved not only successful by altering Kerala’s classical anti-capital mindset; the PPP even led to rolling out a start-up policy. Today, the State has a Startup Mission to its credit, its 1% budget is kept aside to assist entrepreneurs, and there is an Entrepreneurship Day organized every September 12.
In fact, DST’s target for Startup Village was 48 startups in five years, while the figure exceeded 530 in three years during which it raised private capital of over Rs. 6 crores.
Kerala Biz News