The Cabinet on Thursday finalised incentives for students under the Student Entrepreneurship Scheme announced during the Emerging Kerala meet in Kochi recently.
Students setting up start-up units in recognised technology business incubators (TBI) will be eligible for grace marks of up to four per cent besides duty leave. The overall waiver in attendance for appearing in examinations will be a maximum of 20 per cent.
Any of the one lakh students joining engineering and other professional courses in the State can submit project proposals to incubators recognised by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology under the scheme. Existing incubators include Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram; National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NIT-C); ITIH (Start-up Village) in Kochi; College of Engineering Trivandrum; Amritha in Kollam; Institute for Fisheries Technology in Kochi; and NRI TBIs in Kollam, Kochi, and Kozhikode.
Besides, the National Centre for Excellence for Entrepreneurship, jointly promoted by the State government and the Confederation of Indian Industry, and three other TBIs had been recommended for recognition of the Ministry. All government colleges in the State and aided engineering colleges are also eligible to apply for recognition.
Announcing the Cabinet decisions, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that students would be selected through a process beginning at the college level. Colleges and polytechnics and universities should designate a teacher as entrepreneurship coordinator. The coordinator for polytechnics would be the additional director of the Supervisory Development Centre at Kalamassery. Student entrepreneurs should apply to the NIT-C in Kozhikode or the Start-up Village in Kochi with the recommendation of the coordinator.
An expert committee would examine their proposals and accept them or refer them to the other TBIs. The incubation period could range from three months to one year. Duty leave would be provided to an applicant for attending seminars, workshops, competitions, and training programmes.
The Chief Minister said a high-level committee had examined the proposal for the scheme and submitted its recommendations in a month as promised at the Emerging Kerala meet. The government had promised to make available one lakh square feet of space at the Kinfra Park at Thrikkakkara in two phases (by May 12, 2013 and January 12, 2014). However, the Student Start-up Village wanted to build the necessary space faster and hence had been given 25 cents in the park. They would complete buildings in three months. The students would only have to pay the maintenance, electricity, and water charges for availing the space.
Mr. Chandy said the business would have to be developed in three stages starting with ideation. Teaming and formation of company would have to be done including experienced persons. The prototype would then have to be developed for technology-based firms.