Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday offered all possible support to the fledgling Startup Village at Kinfra Park in Kalamassery and said the government attached top priority to resolving the issues of budding companies in the village, which is the first telecom incubator in the country.
Mr. Chandy, who threw open an additional space of 10,000 sq.ft. to the expanding incubator that fosters student entrepreneurship, said the government would deliver on the promise of granting one-lakh sq.ft. space to the village by 2014 in a staggered fashion.
The government planned to raise the working space in Startup Village to 25,000 sq.ft. by May 12 next year and finish work on the remaining 75,000 sq.ft. by January 12, 2014, he said.
The new premises will house five different innovation zones by as many companies, including giants like Blackberry, IBM, Oracle and KPMG.
Commending the incubator for imbibing the spirit of global investor meet ‘Emerging Kerala’, Mr. Chandy said with its youth becoming job creators, the State was poised to emerge from within.
He said the roadmap for Startup Village received more clarity with ‘Emerging Kerala’, as it was at the insistence of the team behind the incubator that the State brought in the landmark ‘Student Entrepreneurship Policy’.
Setting a deadline of 10 days for the Village to present before the government the problems faced by individual start-up units, Mr. Chandy said the government would examine these issues and despatch a team of officials to the village within 30 days to address them. Further, a select team of five people from the village would be sent to Silicon Valley to learn more about its ecosystem for nurturing entrepreneurship.
Sanjay Vijayakumar, chairman of the incubator, gave an outline of the growth and momentum achieved by the village during its first six months.
Quoting its chief mentor Kris Gopalakrishnan, he said that it aimed at carving out at least one billion dollar company from Kerala.
“As of now, we have a total of 359 applicants, a chunk of whom will soon become incubated companies at the village,” he said.
Hibi Eden, MLA, who attended Friday’s event, termed the Student Entrepreneurship Policy a revolutionary decision and said the freedom granted by the government to the youth would augur well for the State’s IT growth in future.
“That’s the biggest investment made by the government,” he noted.
The village already housed 68 incubated firms in an area of 5,000 sq ft. The new four-floor building leased from Kinfra could facilitate operation of at least 300 companies, Startup Village CEO Sijo Geroge Kuruvila informed in a media note.
Later, Startup Village, in a press release said that Mr. Chandy informed them of the government’s decision to grant the venture 25 cents of land at Kinfra Park for in view of the village’s future development needs.