KOCHI: The month-long Startup Yatra, which is being conducted by the Kerala Startup Mission in association with Startup India, reached Ernakulam on Thursday. A boot camp was held as part of the yatra at St Teresa's College.
Over 200 students participated in the various workshops that were held as a part of the boot camp. Thirteen novel ideas were selected from the camp.
According to Nisaf N M, assistant manager, business development, Kerala Startup Mission, the yatra was organised to give a boost to the startup culture in tier 2 and 3 cities. "The platform aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs in these cities to see their business ideas come to fruition. These youngsters will be coached and prepared in one of the best incubators. They will be mentored so that their ideas take off from the planning board into being a successful enterprise," he said.
As of now, four boot camps have been held as part of the yatra, he added. "We planned to cover every district in the state. The aim is to have an impact on 5,000 entrepreneurs at 14 destinations in 27 days. The yatra has two components. One is the van stops and the other the boot camp. However, both are independent of each other. In Ernakulam, the van arrived on Wednesday and visited KTIZ, Infopark and Rajagiri College," said Nasif. The aim of the van stop is to promote the boot camps.
"The caravan has many screens and various other technological gadgets using which the team creates awareness about the boot camps among the student community," said Nasif. He said, "Both the van stops and the boot camps aim to rope in more than 200 students. We have been able to do so successfully."
He said all the boot camps have ideation workshops and idea pitching sessions to expose the students to entrepreneurship. "Aspiring or budding entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas to the panel. A panel has been formed to select the best ideas which will then be presented at the grand finale that will be held at Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram," he said. "Ideas are being mooted as a team and also by individuals. We have received an overwhelming response when it comes to participation and ideation," he added.
According to Nisaf, people whose ideas get shortlisted will get a chance to pitch for offers by incubators and incentives by the state government. "The first prize is Rs 10.5 lakh and mentorship," he said.
As for the number of ideas received in the ideation sessions held during the boot camps, the students of Mar Baselios pitched 53 ideas, 37 ideas were pitched at TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, and it was 46 at St Joseph College, Pala. "Of these ideas, a total of 31 ideas were shortlisted for the two-day acceleration programme that will be held in Thiruvananthapuram.
Four more boot camps are to be held in the coming days and we expect more ideas to flow in," said Nisaf. He said it was interesting to note that the ideas were not solely on tech initiatives. "We got business ideas from other streams as well," he added. The startup yatra will soon be going to Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasargod.