THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Successful startups in the state have a new avenue for mentoring and market exposure - Kerala Accelerator Programme. The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has tied-up with Zone Startups India to subsidise the three-month virtual accelerator programme commencing on February 5.
Zone Startups India director Ajay Ramasubramaniam said it was their first direct engagement with a state government. “A lot of promising hardware and software startups emerge from Kerala,” he said.
“So the ecosystem of entrepreneurs has been in place for a while now. Startups in such markets lack the exposure to the ecosystems of potential customers, investors and peer entrepreneurs that larger hubs of Mumbai and Bengaluru offer.”
Startups in the revenue stage will get a mix of live and virtual mentoring sessions, including visits by mentors to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi to interact with the participants. There will be weekly reviews, customer interactions and an end-of-programme demonstration day with investors.
Selected startups will also be provided a week-long residential programme — travel and accommodation included — in Bengaluru and Mumbai from February 12 to 16.
The programme fee is C1 lakh and Kerala-based founders can get 90 per cent scholarship from the KSUM. “Exposure is a key challenge for startups from Kerala. Programmes like these will help the founders to keep pace with the startup ecosystems in Bengaluru and Mumbai,” said CEO of KSUM Saji Gopinath.
Interested startups, which have already launched their products, can apply through the website https://startupmission.kerala.gov.in/k-accelerator by January 18.
Zone Startups is the global brand of early stage tech accelerators and venture funds operated by Canada-based Ryerson Futures Inc. Zone Startup India has been set-up as a joint-venture of Ryerson Futures Inc., BSE Institute Ltd, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, B.C) and the Department of Science and Technology (Government of India). Startups supported by Zone Startups India have raised more than $45 million as funding and created more than 900 jobs.