Govt. will continue to encourage entrepreneurs, says CM

Giving a fillip to Start-up Village hard pressed for space because of the overwhelming response from young entrepreneurs, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the pioneering incubating institution will receive another1.2 lakh sq.ft by next March.

Talking at the second anniversary of Start-up Village operating out of the Kinfra High Tech Park at Kalamassery, Mr. Chandy said the change of contractor midway through construction led to the delay in readying the space originally scheduled for this January.

The government also proposes to ready the Silicon Valley landing pad for young entrepreneurs visiting the world’s IT hub under the aegis of Start-up Village at an investment of about Rs.4 crore by July-August.

Much to the delight of young entrepreneurs, Mr. Chandy declared that the State government planned to continue its policy of encouraging student entrepreneurs by sending ten young entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley this year.

More entrepreneurs would be accommodated if necessary, he said.

The State government had last year sponsored the trip of five entrepreneurs from Start-up Village to Silicon Valley. “Those youngsters came back a reformed lot and brimming with confidence. They realised that they too can succeed if they have the will and that confidence is the need of the hour,” Mr. Chandy said.

Two years of Start-up Village demonstrated the changed attitude and mindset of the new generation who proved that Malayalis can succeed at home just as they did elsewhere in the world.

The State government was committed to provide the right atmosphere for enabling the youth to implement their ideas and make use of the immense possibilities and opportunities of the State that had gone unexplored in the past, Mr. Chandy said.

Principal IT Secretary P.H. Kurian said many successful Kerala-based businessmen were coming forward to extend angel funding to start-ups.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys executive vice-chairman and mentor of Start-up Village, said the success of the incubator helped change perception about Kerala across the world and the transformation taking place in the State.

Expressing confidence that Start-up Village has the potential to become the largest incubator in the world, he said that it need not restrict itself to IT, telecom or electronics but take forward the spirit of entrepreneurship to varied areas including healthcare and agro products thus fuelling economic growth.

The spirit of adventure involved in Start-up Village was brilliant and it could create large number of entrepreneurs, which in turn could generate a lot of jobs, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said.

Aruna Sundararajan, managing director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, regarded Start-up Village as the most positive development to have taken place in the State in the last decade.

She said the incubator had been able to signal a change in the mindset besides being the face of that change, which helped remove deep-rooted cynicism about the State that it would never change.

Sanjay Vijayakumar, chairman of board of governors of Start-up Village, anchored the programme.

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