Seaside 'village' in India to nurture software start-ups
"Take Apple or take Google. If exactly the same company had been started in India, its prospects would have been very different," said Erkko Autio, chair in technology venturing and entrepreneurship at Imperial College, London. "Basically, it would have not reached the potential it has as a start-up."
Indian-born entrepreneurs have been enormously successful in the United States, where they have the highest number of tech-start-ups by any immigrant group. But India has not been able to build itself a community like Silicon Valley where there is easy access to equity, a pool of creative talent and first-world infrastructure.
"We were alone. We had no idea how to make a company, how to sell it We tried, failed, tried, failed," said Kallidil Kalidasan, a 23-year-old member who started a mobile app venture in Kerala two years ago and could not find a single investor.
He is now one of the entrepreneurs at Startup Village, and is working on a product that could help the government detect illegal abortions in a country plagued by female foeticide.
The seven-month-old Startup Village provides would-be entrepreneurs with workspace at rents about a tenth of anywhere else in Kochi, computers, a high-speed Internet connection, legal and intellectual property services and access to high-profile investors.
The village is still to be completed, but 68 people, would-be entrepreneurs and their teams, have already taken up two buildings at the site.
Spread over 100,000 sq ft (9,250 sq m) - equivalent to 20 basketball
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