Mr. Pilot who visited the facility on Friday felt the village was fantastic. It was was capable of inspiring youngsters to create and innovate. He pledged the full support of the Union government for the village.

Start-up Village, the country’s first telecom incubator, functioning out of the Kinfra Hi-tech Park in Kalamassery swept the Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot off his feet by the sheer innovative spirit of the facility and the eco system it offers to the budding entrepreneurs willing to think out of the box.

Mr. Pilot who visited the facility on Friday felt the village was fantastic. It was was capable of inspiring youngsters to create and innovate. He pledged the full support of the Union government for the village.

The journey from an idea to the market is best done in an atmosphere as enabling as this. He was confident that Start-up Village will be able to achieve its target of promoting 1,000 telecom-internet product start-ups.

“We don’t want young people to be afraid of doing things that perhaps they would not have done without getting the kind of support system they are getting here. In fact, I am just waiting for the next Yahoo, and Google, and Microsoft to emerge from India,” Mr. Pilot said.

He said that while India is now a leader in IT exports it must not limit itself to business processing, data entry and other low-end services. “It’s time we go up the value chain. And to do that you need to be innovative, create companies and ideas that can be monetized here and not work for a multinational company 20 hours a day and six days a week and contribute to value addition in all continents except India,” Mr. Pilot said. He said that it was best if the government kept out of interfering in the running of facilities like Start-up Village. “I don’t think that government is the best agency to innovate. The government must play the role of a facilitator,” the minister said.

He felt that one reason why the IT industry has really done well is perhaps the government kept out of it and limited itself to creating the right environment. Today we are touching almost a hundred billion dollars worth of IT exports and our target is 200 billion dollars by 2020, Mr. Pilot said.

The minister said that the concept of Start-up Village can be replicated provided there is a willing State government, real game changers and individual companies which can take the idea forward. Whatever the Union government is required to do we are more than happy to do that, he said.

He said the country’s substantial innovation fund worth more than Rs, 1,000, should go in to in initiatives like this. More than about the deployment of money, it’s about creating a system which is not as rigid like a university that does not really encourage thinking. He said that the gap between academia and industry has traditionally been the problem faced by the country. Earlier, Mr. Pilot planted a sapling in the campus. Hibi Eden, MLA, Infopark CEO Gigo Joseph, Sanjay Vijayakumar, chairman, Board of Governors, Startup Village, and Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO, were present.

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