Kerala's startup ecosystem set to scale new heights
652 new startups registered in 2023 till May; highest in recent years
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The future of the startup ecosystem in Kerala looks bright, as the state saw a steep rise in the number of startups registered under the Kerala StartUp Mission (KSUM) in the past few years. The boom also reveals that more youngsters are turning entrepreneurs rather than choosing a job. As per the statistics available with KSUM, as many as 652 new startups have been registered in 2023 till May. It is the highest number in recent years.
In 2022, the number of new startups registered was 880, compared to 750 in 2021. This shows a 35% of growth in the registration of startups compared to last year.
Ernakulam district tops the chart in the number of startups. In 2023, 180 new startups were registered in the district while Thiruvananthapuram came second with 71. Last year, a total of 374 new startups were registered in Ernakulam while 172 came up in Thiruvananthapuram. The ranking is almost consistent in the last five years. However, Kozhikode district is far behind in terms of the number of startups getting registered. Apart from these, more than 100 startups are operating at various co-working spaces and private office spaces. Most of the startups are product-focused with the integration of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and robotics.
Anoop P Ambika, CEO, KSUM, told TNIE that various initiatives of the KSUM helped youngsters start their own enterprises. “The present generation has more risk-taking ability. They are getting the confidence to start as they wish. The state government is providing all assistance and ecosystem they want. The youngsters are also open to experimenting. This is the reason for the rise in the number of startups. Primarily they came forward with confidence and ideas. The capital will come normally,” he said.
DPR for emerging startup hub under preparation
Recently, KSUM announced plans to build a dedicated space for startups at Technopark Phase IV (Technocity) in the capital. The emerging startup hub will be housed in a 5 lakh sq ft building that will come up on three acres of land on Technocity campus at Pallipuram. The building can accommodate around 1,000 startups, with a total construction cost of `145 crore.
Anoop said the DPR of the startup hub is under preparation. “The hub will focus on 10 specific sectors that will see the integration of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. At present, the number of robotics-based startups is higher in Kerala. We have floated two expressions of interest (EOIs) for the project, and the last date for submission of EOIs is June 26, “ he said.
The KSUM had also planned a slew of initiatives this year to ensure a robust startup ecosystem in the state. As part of it, KSUM had prepared a 10-point action plan to help startups scale globally. The other major projects include sector-specific incubation programmes to support startups focusing on various technologies like enterprise software, fintech, agri-tech, and health technology. Startup innovation zones will also be developed to support startups that come out with world-class innovative products in collaboration with government departments. Another significant initiative of KSUM is to have mechanisms in place to facilitate funding, mentorship, business, and global exposure to startups from various fields.