How can Startup incubations power India’s Growth Story? – Startup Village is a good start.

“Competition tends to expand the market” is an old usage but still very true.

When my colleague visited Startup Village, a Public – Private technology incubator in Cochin (Kerala) competition is what he saw binding together young entrepreneurs.Entrepreneurs at Start-up Village  ‘compete’ in order get attention from a steady stream of Technology leaders,Fund Managers and Mentors who keep coming to witness the change taking shape.

About Start Up village
Startup Village is 10,000 sq ft of build up space in Kinfra Industrial Park, Cochin, and accommodates Entrepreneurs bubbling with ideas. Roughly 400 startups are incubated at Startup Village currently. The plan is to expand the facility to accommodate more startup and finally to a 500,000 sq ft in the next 5 years. Some of biggest names in the industry have lent their support to the project. Startup Village is a not-for-profit business incubator. Started in April 2012, the organization’s aim is to launch 1,000 technology startups over the next 10 years and start the search for the next Billion Dollar  Indian company. It focuses primarily on student start-ups and telecom and mobile innovation. It is India’s first incubator that is funded jointly by the public and private sector.

Who are the promoters of Startup Village :
Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Technopark, Trivandrum & MobME Wireless.

What does Startup Village do ?

It provides members, high-speed Internet connection, legal and intellectual property services and access to high-profile investors. Companies can also apply for the Startup Village Angel Fund that has been approved by market regulators. They also have access to all the workshops, networking events and contests at Startup Village. Every month, Startup Village holds a community gathering for future entrepreneurs to connect with investors, technology innovators and famous businesspersons. Interested founders are asked to come for an open house session that is held every Saturday at the campus of Startup Village in Cochin to connect with the team and brainstorm with other like-minded people.

In January 2013, Startup Village and the Govt. of Kerala government launched an initiative called SV Square. Every year, the Start-up Village panel would select promising young entrepreneurs from India and send them on an all-expense paid trip to the U.S. The aim is to expose Indian youth to the legendary start-up environment in Silicon Valley. This will also give them a chance to interact with some of the famous Tech Gurus and Entrepreneurs in the world.

At Startup Village – the energy and passion that entrepreneurs bring along with them, is probably the first thing that will immediately catch your attention.The young entrepreneurs here are looking at solving some real life problems like

Smart Microwave Oven – An oven that can connect to the internet and cook your fav dish.
Mobile app  (e-payasam) –  You can order authentic Kerala delicacies on your phone and get it home delivered. I was told that this entrepreneur had to finally carry orders  in her own car and self deliver to meet demand’s during peak festive season in Kerala. She is currently exploring Bangalore as her next market.
SNAPREAD –  Is an mobile app – You point your mobile camera to an alien language and convert it to English. Isn’t that cool…!
How about Shoutcrow? An Innovation for social media.
Sounds ambitious? But didn’t all the big names start small.

What is IBM’s Role here?
IBM has partnered with Start-up Village to mentor and support Startups from a technology standpoint.As a part of the IBM Ecosystem Development agenda we are responding to the technological revolution happening around us.

“Never compete with someone who has nothing to lose.”
¯ Baltasar Gracián

I dedicate this blog post to my colleague Ajit Yohannan -marketing manager – ecosystem development, India and South Asia for sharing this !


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