Huddle Kerala, the State government’s ambitious initiative to give a leg-up to the start-up entrepreneur community concluded here on Saturday with several potential investors expressing faith in Kerala’s technological advancements and promising to support the fledgeling enterprises with investment and mentorship.
Twelve investors, 40 start-ups from outside Kerala and 120 mentors participated in the inaugural edition of the conclave, organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation. The two-day event also attracted some high networth individuals (HNIs), who showed their keenness to tap the potential of Kerala’s start-up ecosystem.
Dianne Dain, head, United Nations Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL), who was the chief guest at the valedictory session, said the organisation is planning to collaborate with the Kerala government and KSUM for resolving various issues connected with start-ups. State IT Secretary M. Sivasankar said the government planned to hold a larger event next year with the participation of more start-ups, experts and other stakeholders. Jithendra Singh Minhas, CEO, Internet and Mobile Association of India Startup Foundation, termed Kerala’s start-up ecosystem as one poised for growth thanks to the support being given by the State government.
Anil Joshi, founder and managing partner, Unicorn India Ventures, one of the prime investors in Kerala Startups, said the company has already invested in four companies and would invest in two more start-ups ‘very soon’, possibly in two companies. Manoj Kumar Agarwal, CEO and co-founder, Sea Fund, said his company would also be investing in the Kerala-based start-ups in sectors such as health care, real estate, operation automation and robotics and hoped that the start-ups in the State would move outside and get into new markets.
Out of the 50 start-ups that pitched their products at the conclave, 10 were shortlisted and three emerged winners.
Clapresearch, Humble Innovations and SignNEXT won the first, second and third place, respectively. In the Huddle Kerala Hackathon held during the conclave, My Visual Passport, My Farm and Smart C bagged the first, second and third place.
Grant of Rs. 7 lakh
Rohin Malhotra's Nimble Labs won a grant of ₹7 lakh in the national level pitching of start-ups held by the the Internet Mobile Association of India (IMAI) in the IoT platform while Spiqi, start-up by Jai Vikram, and Switch on, a company of Anirudha Banerjee, bagged the second and third prizes