KOCHI: The state government is aiming to groom 15,000 startups in the next five years, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Saturday. In 2016, the state had 300 startups and the number grew to 3,900 over the past three years. The sector provides jobs to 35,000 people in the state.
The government is planning to develop a knowledge chain by linking technical education institutes with startups and IT parks, he said while inaugurating the Digital Hub at Kerala Technology Innovation Zone at Kalamassery.
The state has been able to attract an investment of Rs 750 crore in the startup sector. To encourage youngsters to realise their innovative ideas, the Kerala Bank, KSIDC, KFC and KSFE will form a Rs 250-crore venture capital fund. The fund will make a matching investment in startups that attracts investment from outside. The government will provide a collateral-free loan of upto `1 crore for startups that support the state’s development goals. A project will be launched to help the startups link with the Global Startup ecosystem, he said.
The chief minister said that a project will be launched to develop Thiruvananthapuram as the artificial intelligence hub of the state. The project will be implemented with the help of technical and digital universities.
The government is also planning to develop data parks, he said. With the opening of the 2 lakh sq ft digital hub, the Technology Innovation Zone has grown into the biggest startup space in South East Asia with a built-up space of 4 lakh sq ft. Industries Minister P Rajeeve presided over the function. MP Hibi Eden, Chief Secretary V P Joy, Electronics and IT principal secretary Biswanath Sinha, Infosys co-founder Cris Gopalakrishnan and Kerala Startup Mission CEO John M Thomas attended the function.