Kerala government will soon announce a new startup and innovation policy to promote entrepreneurship, Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy announced on Monday as he inaugurated the first phase of the Technology Innovation Zone (TIZ), an ambitious project under the Technopark-Technology Business Incubator (TBI), at the Kinfra Hi-Tech Park in Kalamassery.
“The draft of the new startup and innovation policy is ready and we will be unveiling it soon,” Shri Chandy said, adding that the government will also chair a meeting of University Vice-Chancellors in the state to finalise a programme to provide support to student entrepreneurs.The newly inaugurated 10,000 sqft work space at TIZ will be handed over to Startup Village for providing incubation support to around 40 startup firms.“The objective of the Innovation Zone is to provide the maximum possible support to young entrepreneurs across a number of industry verticals, apart from telecom and IT. At least eight different sectors like agriculture, electronics, food processing, tourism etc have been identified for providing incubation support” Shri Oommen Chandy said in his inaugural address.
“There has been a visible change in the mindset of Kerala youth of late and we must capitalise on this new revolution for the state’s future development,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the young people must become job creators rather than job seekers. In his presidential address, Hon’ble Minister for Public works Shri V K Ebrahim Kunju said “it is a proud moment for Kerala as the government is working very hard to encourage young people to take up entrepreneurship”. The government will look into the infrastructure needs of the TIZ and will finish work on the ongoing road projects in the surrounding areas in a timely manner, he added.
“There has been an influx of young people to the Startup Village, which has created an unprecedented demand for workspace,” Principal Secretary, IT & Industries Shri P H Kurian said. “We have to transform this space into a concentrated Silicon Valley to meet the growing demand,” Shri Kurian added.
“There is no doubt that TIZ will become a milestone in the ongoing entrepreneurial revolution in the state,” Shri Hrishikesh Nair, Chief Executive Officer of both Infopark and the T-TBI. He thanked the government for the support in realising the dream project.
“The young people in our state are as talented as any entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley,” said Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar. “For the next two decades, India may need to produce 10 lakh jobs every month for the 22.5 crore youngsters in the country. We need more job creators within our country to meet this requirement,” he added.
“Across the world, if we examine, the top job providers are young or emerging companies. If the governments are ready to provide policy level support to startups, more people will be able to enter the mainstream and we can go miles ahead not only in the IT sector, but also in agriculture, food processing, electronics and others,” said Startup Village CEO Pranav Kumar Suresh. The TIZ project is spread across 13.2 acres of land at the Kinfra Park. The work on the remaining buildings is expected to be completed by 2017. Once fully operational, TIZ will have a total built-up area of over 5,00,000 sqft and will have all the amenities of a futuristic business incubator including fab-labs (fabrication labs) and a data centre, apart from a convention centre, amphitheater, food courts and an exhibition lounge. Shri Benny Behanan MLA; Kalamaserry Municipality Chairman Shri Jamal Manakkadan and Kalamaserry Municipality Councilor Smt Naseema Majid also spoke on the occasion.