Face to Face with the Maker

Maker Village is in the process of augmenting facilities by procuring additional facilities for metal works, plastic and other non-metallic works and equipment for pre-compliance testing.

Published: 06th May 2018 02:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2018 12:34 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Ecosystem. That network so essential for life to thrive. Think technology and business, and the term crops up again. With great significance. Express shines light on Maker Village which provides startups in Kerala with such an incubator

KOCHI: A great business idea cannot succeed without proper support and mentorship. There lies the  significance of an incubator. It offers an ecosystem for startups to evaluate potential, create prototypes and chase dreams.

Maker Village, the largest electronic incubator in India, has scripted success within just two years of its inception. Started in February 2016, Maker Village has managed to make great strides in creating the country’s best startup ecosystem in the hardware domain.

A joint initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the facility has the Kerala Startup Mission as the leading partner and the Indian Institute of Information Technology Kerala (IIITMK) as the implementing agency.

It is India’s only hardware incubator with an industrial grade Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assembly line. This offers the startups a unique solution for PCB assembly not only to build prototypes but also to scale them up to market-ready products. The startup hub also offers testing labs and other basic equipment necessary for building hardware products.

Maker Village is in the process of augmenting facilities by procuring additional facilities for metal works, plastic and other non-metallic works and equipment for pre-compliance testing. With the installation of these additional facilities, Maker Village will become a single point location offering end-to-end solutions for hardware product building.

Currently, it is incubating 45 startup companies building products leveraging high-end technologies. The incubator has been able to attract talent from premier academic institutions of the country, including IIT Delhi, IIT Chennai and IISC Bengaluru.

Continuing the rich legacy of Kerala in building hardware products, Maker Village aims to create the building blocks to turn the state into the next electronic destination.“Developing a vibrant hardware startup ecosystem is the first and foremost step in developing Kerala as an electronics hub,” said CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair.

“The idea is to create a comprehensive facility for startups with all basic requirements for product development under one roof. We want to attract product startups from across the country by enabling support and mentoring services from technologists, industry veterans and business leaders with global competencies.

Maker Village will augment the network of associations with Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) players, technology firms, industries, suppliers and academic institutions.”
In two years, Maker Village has changed the startup climate in Kerala. While the software boom provided an ecosystem for software startups to prosper, Maker Village strives to bring the focus back to the hardware sector.

“To create a robust and sustainable hardware ecosystem for prototyping, product design and development, we have to create a collaborative platform where sharing of talent, ideas, technology, equipment, services and exchange of best practices can be facilitated.

Maker Village provides this collaborative platform creating an ecosystem for hardware startups to mature faster,” Prasad said.
Maker Village has partnered top global players - Mentor Graphics and Dassault Systems - to  provide product design packages for the startups. Long wait times and high shipping costs for small quantities are the critical challenges faced by hardware startups during the development stage.

The local component dealers are unwilling to take orders when the quantity is small. Maker Village has partnered leading firms - Wurth Electronics and S M Electronics - to facilitate the timely supply of components in required quantities, and thereby effectively addressing the pain point in sourcing.
BRINC, the top hardware accelerator in Hong Kong, had conducted a three-day workshop on Design For Manufacturability (DFM) at Maker Village. US Consulate, CPPR and Maker Village have joined hands to conduct a two-day national level Blockathone centring on Migrant labour issues.

NIELIT joins hands with Maker Village

The National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) in Kozhikode, an autonomous body under the administrative control of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has signed an MoU with Maker Village for skilling and technology-based entrepreneur development programmes (EDPs) in the Electronics and  IT sector.

The collaboration aims at facilitating interaction among scientists and engineers at NIELIT and startups incubated by Maker Village and associated industries for incubating skills and technology- based EDPs in Electronics and IT sector and sharing of resources for the benefit of entrepreneurs.“As part of the collaboration, a unique one-year skilling programme (Advanced PG Diploma in Electronic Product Design and Manufacturing) has been launched recently,” said scientist S Pratap Kumar.“The course is aimed at developing competency in the design and development of electronic products, employing state-of-the-art technologies.

After six months training at NIELIT, Kozhikode, successful candidates will get hands on training at the SMT assembly line at Maker Village, Kochi, followed by six months industry internship at Maker Village and associate industries.”

Tech FILES
Maker Village is incubating 45 startup companies building products leveraging high-end technologies. The incubator has been able to attract talent from premier academic institutions of the country, including IIT Delhi, IIT Chennai and IISC Bengaluru. Continuing the rich legacy of Kerala in building hardware products, Maker Village aims to create the building blocks to turn the state into the next electronic destination

It is India’s only hardware incubator with an industrial grade Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assembly line

A joint initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the facility has the Kerala Startup Mission as the leading partner and the Indian Institute of Information Technology Kerala as the implementing agency

Started in February 2016, Maker Village has managed to make great strides in creating the country’s best startup ecosystem in the hardware  domain

Has partnered top global players - Mentor Graphics and Dassault Systems - to  provide product design packages for the startups

Wurth Electronics and S M Electronics to facilitate the timely supply of components

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