Published: 31st May 2018
Kerala globally touted accelerators for start-ups
The state government has given permission to Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to invite globally reputed accelerators
When the accelerator ecosystem across the world has been growing rapidly over the years, Kerala has decided to make use of the expertise of the globally renowned accelerators, which open up wide networks for the startups with the mix of best practices to evolve into successful ventures, billed as the first-of-its-kind initiative in the ‘hardware ecosystem’ of the country.
The state government has given permission to Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to invite globally reputed accelerators that found a place in the first 25 list of Forbes to open a new chapter in the start-up ecosystem in the state, creating co-working spaces for hardware startups to incubate and get nurtured.
According to the order of Shyam Nadh R, undersecretary, Kerala has several incubators being promoted by government agencies like KSUM, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) etc as well as other autonomous semi-government agencies. In order to supplement these incubators, it is necessary to create accelerators who provide product-market linkage, early market connect and access to venture funds.
After a vetting a proposal of the KSUM, the state government has given permission to scout for accelerators with the global presence. The accelerators should be among 25 accelerators as per the Forbes list of the global accelerators. Or it should have been a presence in operation for at least three years, having operations in at least three countries and must have at least 10 successful cases of demonstrable exits with VC funding, the order said.
Saji Gopinath, CEO of KSUM, told Express, the KSUM has invited an expression of interest (EoI) to select the accelerators. Kerala is the first state to invite EoI to select globally renowned accelerators to provide mentoring as well as financing for hardware startups with a view to streamlining their businesses. This move is expected to draw a considerable number of potential investors to Kerala as this is the first time in the hardware ecosystem, he said.
Earlier, the KSUM in association with Zone Startups India has launched ‘Kerala Accelerator Program’ to help startups achieve product-market fit through a curated customer validation process. Of the 14 companies which made use of the accelerator programme, as many as 10 companies could attract investment and connect to the international market. Unlike in the software sector, the accelerator programme in hardware startups can generate more investment along with employment, he said, adding, the accelerators can be decided in a month or two as the process is underway.
- The experience of the accelerator, their demonstrated expertise in specific functional domains, the availability of mentors, specialized facility, association with VCs, proven access to international markets, amount of investment expected to be made by accelerator during the course of the acceleration etc, are considered for the selection of accelerator.
- The accelerators who commit funds for acceleration will be given preference.
- The accelerators should be among 25 accelerators as per the Forbes list of the global accelerators.
- Or, it should have been a presence in operation for at least three years, having operations in at least three countries and must have at least 10 successful cases of demonstrable exits with VC funding
- The Maker Village, an electronics Incubator under MeitY and IIITM K, has around 49 hardware startups in Kochi