Kerala targets 3,000 new IT companies by 2020: Oommen Chandy

Kochi, July 28 : Kerala aims to have at least 3,000 IT companies by 2020 under the state's new Seed Support System for early-stage investment to assist new entrepreneurs under the new IT policy of nurturing "one product startup a day", Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Sunday.

Speaking via video link at the Weekend@Startup Village celebrations, he also announced the setting up of a state-of-the-art Kerala Technology Innovation Zone at the Kinfra Hi-Tech park where India's first telecom business incubator, Startup Village, is currently located.

Startup Village is the first public-private partnership incubator in the telecom sector of the country located here and has already an innovation zone set up by Blackberry (RIM).

The new hub will have a built-up space of 500,000 square feet with all facilities required for a world class innovation ecosystem and will nurture startup companies across a number of sectors including IT and biotechnology.

The government's flagship Student Entrepreneurship Policy giving 20 percent attendance allowance and five percent grace marks for student entrepreneurs has taken effect in two Kerala universities. Similar regulations will be introduced by other universities within a month.

"All student entrepreneurs will be able to avail of these benefits this current academic year. We don't want our students to aim for a job or a visa after they complete education. We want them to become job creators and transform our economy that way. The government will provide every possible support for any entrepreneurial venture that has potential," said Chandy.

The government has also allocated Rs.1.5 million for Startup Village's flagship programme SVSquare, to "build a bridge between Kochi and California", enabling young aspiring businessmen and women to experience first-hand the renowned entrepreneurial culture of the global technology capital at Silicon Valley.

Industries and IT Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty reiterated that no startup with a potentially great and innovative idea will have to suffer for funding.

"We have money and we have investors who eagerly want to support such ventures," he said.

Infosys co-founder and chief mentor of Startup Village Kris Gopalakrishnan called Startup Village a "mass movement that will change Kerala" and praised the government for its support for the venture.

--IANS (Posted on 28-07-2013)

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