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Updated: June 6, 2014 08:33 IST

Campus start-ups skyrocket in Kerala

G. Krishnakumar
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Campus start-ups have spawned a vibrant bunch of young Chief Executive
Officers who are barely in their 20s. Four of the 40 start-ups incubated at the
Startup Village in Kochi are campus initiatives. Photo: K.K. Mustafah
The Hindu Campus start-ups have spawned a vibrant bunch of young Chief Executive Officers who are barely in their 20s. Four of the 40 start-ups incubated at the Startup Village in Kochi are campus initiatives. Photo: K.K. Mustafah

They grew four-fold last year compared to the year before

It needed Mark Zuckerberg just a dormitory room at Harvard to announce his arrival to the world with the path-breaking Facebook.

A decade later, imaginative youngsters have sparked of a flurry of entrepreneurial activities on campuses in this small State. Campus start-ups have grown four-fold last year compared to the year before, spawning a vibrant bunch of young Chief Executive Officers who are barely in their 20s.

“The surge in start-ups has been phenomenal with the number skyrocketing from 60 to 240 in hardly a year,” said Pranav Kumar Suresh, who will soon take over as the Chief Executive Officer of Startup Village,

These youngsters are really ambitious and fortunately have a wide range of areas from mobile, telecom, internet, consumer electronics, to wearables, electronics, and robotics to tap into. Significantly, four of the 40 start-ups incubated at the Startup Village in Kochi are campus initiatives. Except for dedicated office space, the rest gets access to mentors, funds and markets. Further support to expand their operations comes from the partners of Startup Village.

500 start-up boot camps by 2016

To foster entrepreneurship among youngsters, 500 colleges in the State will open start-up boot camps in the next two years. In the first phase to be activated in a week’s time, 100 colleges will get dedicated entrepreneurial cells. Each of these cells will have students as Chief Technological Officer and Chief Financial Officer. They will receive training in leadership and marketing from the who’s who of the Indian industry.

In a marked contrast from confining such activities to engineering colleges alone, these boot camps will come up in arts and science colleges and higher educational institutions offering agriculture programmes. The aim is to propel early-stage entrepreneurship from campuses and inspire more and more undergraduates to launch campus startups.

The project is being implemented jointly by the State Higher Education Department and the Information Technology Department. Startup Village will brand these boot camps and offer all their expertise to encourage the budding entrepreneurs.

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