Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 6 (PTI) Kerala has built a model that identifies, nurtures and promotes talented innovations within the state unlike other states, which developed startup ecosystem by attracting talents from other geographies, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here today.

“We believe that such a strong ecosystem could also become a good nurturing ground for startups from other parts of India and the world,” Vijayan said in his inaugural address at ‘Huddle Kerala’, one of Asia s largest startup ecosystem congregations at nearby Kovalam.

The two-day event is being organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation.

Kerala was the first state to come out with a startup policy, he said.

In 2017, Kerala issued a policy document which specifically identified the interventions required to successfully develop new ventures in the state, he said.

The state government observed youth entrepreneurship development as a key focus area, Vijayan said.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme outlined in the startup policy caters to developing technology, innovation and entrepreneurship among school and college students and aspiring professionals, he said. There were also programmes like training for startup CEOs and international exchange. All the schemes were available to the eligible startups through the incubation network facilitated by the KSUM.

Currently, there are over 1,000 startups registered under the KSUM and the state has more than two lakh sq ft of incubation space available for startups, he said.

For the last one year, the KSUM has funded 100 plus ideas which have potential to become successful ventures and create wealth and impact in the society.

The government has provided innovation grants to these ideas to help them go to market and scale up faster.

To make the investment available to the startups, a fund-of-fund programme has been created to invest in the startups operating from the state, the chief minister said.

Within a short period of the launch of the scheme, several startups have benefited substantially from it, he said.

Sharjah Digital Transformation Higher Committee Chairman Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, who was the chief guest at the event, lauded the educational progress of Kerala in building up a strong startup ecosystem.

M Sivasankar, Kerala IT Secretary, Harish Krishnan, Managing Diretor, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements Cisco India and SAARC, Subho Ray, President, Internet and Mobile Association of India and Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM, were among those present.

‘Huddle Kerala offers a platform for startups to showcase their products and interact with a wide array of technology and industry leaders from around the world.

Startups, investors, academicians and industry leaders are attending the event with a focus on the emerging sectors like blockchain, cryptocurrency, internet of things, gaming and e-sports, cyber security, digital entertainment, augmented reality, virtual reality, e-governance and mobile governance.

Around 40 experts are slated to speak on these issues in 30 sessions.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.