Kochi

KSUM to chalk out dedicated entrepreneurship promotional programme for NRI community

The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is set to roll out an exclusive entrepreneurship promotional programme for the (Non-Resident Indian) NRI community in the next financial year, said Chief Executive Officer Anoop Ambika.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ambika said NRIs would be invited to present start-up ideas, and that the scalable among them would be backed under the proposed NRI-specific scheme. Specifics like whether supporting facilities modelled on the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Cell (IEDC) of the KSUM will be set up in West Asia or in Kerala remain to be finalised.

The NRI community is among the six sections that the KSUM has identified as potential sources of entrepreneurships in the State as part of long-term plans. Educational institutions, research institutions, industry, government, and NGOs are the other five.

Plans are also afoot to set up government innovation zones in all departments like those in Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). “The government has a wealth of problem statements, which, we believe, the innovation zones will bring to the fore. They can then be resolved either using the existing solutions or be given to start-ups for working out new solutions. Government employees with an aptitude for entrepreneurship will also be brought into the ecosystem. The idea is to unlock the huge knowledge base within the government,” said Mr. Ambika.

The KSUM has also initiated steps to set up IEDCs at five medical colleges across the State to facilitate cross-functional collaboration between doctors and engineers to promote start-ups in the health sector. At present, there are 345 IEDCs across engineering colleges, arts and science colleges, and polytechnics in the State.

“We have also set up the Research and Innovation Network of Kerala to tap into the expertise and talent in research institutes. They can also list commercially feasible ideas that can be taken from the lab to the market. The KSUM will provide research grant for such ideas for enhancing their technology readiness,” said Mr. Ambika.

An entrepreneurship programme specifically targeting working professionals with a minimum of five years’ experience will also be chalked out. A challenge will be held for them to present their start-up ideas. “The top five ideas will be given a significant grant, the amount of which is yet to be decided. Funding will be arranged for the rest of the ideas in the initial stage itself through angel investors,” said the CEO.

A specific programme will also be devised to encourage NGOs to promote social entrepreneurship.

At present, Kerala has 3,900 start-ups of which 2,182 have the unique id of the KSUM. Four-hundred start-ups among them with steady income and sustainable business are considered to be the most promising. They will be segregated into sectors and assisted for their potential scale-up through investments and infrastructure.

“We expect at least 40 of them to make it big. While we don’t target creating unicorns, if some of them do achieve that, it will be a positive corollary. Our primary aim is to create good companies with sustainable business,” said Mr. Ambika.


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 2:09:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ksum-to-chalk-out-dedicated-entrepreneurship-promotional-programme-for-nri-community/article65765195.ece