Kris to mentor countrys first PPP telecom innovation hub

Written by MSaritaVarma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Oct 28 2011, 08:46am hrs
Decks have been cleared for the country's first telecom business incubator in public-private partnership (PPP).

The facility, jointly promoted by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Technopark and MobMe Wireless, is expected to come up at Technopark in the Kerala capital.

Infosys Technologies executive co-chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan has been roped in as the chief mentor of the proposed innovation hub. The promoters are scouting for appropriate space for the campus.

The facility has been envisaged on the lines of the technology incubators in the Silicon Valley, according to H K Mittal, head and advisor, NSTEDB. The telecom innovation hub would be functional from January 2012, he said.

The hub is backed by Union ministry of science and technology through its NSTEDB arm, but would require elaborate capital support from private individuals.

The idea is to go for aggressive marketing within the non-resident community and high net-worth individuals to raise capital, said Sanjay Vijayakumar, chief executive officer, MobMe Wireless. Once a campus is selected for the incubator, it will have full access to 4G network, advanced telecom labs, legal, intellectual property and accounting services, fully furnished office space, video-conference rooms, computers, phone connections, Internet, server space and virtual office services facilities required by a student to start a company even when in college. We aim to create a platform for the next generation of entrepreneurs to set up own enterprises and be job-creators rather than job-seekers, said Mittal.

The innovation hub is envisaged as a vibrant ecosystem for start-ups to create breakthrough technologies for the global telecommunications industry.

The strategy is to make this possible in association with leading companies working in proposed telecom innovation zones. These zones would bring home the latest technology platforms and products to start-ups in the incubator before they are released in the commercial markets.

Within Technopark's technology business incubator, MobMe Wireless is reputed to have created an eco-system that has inspired about 122 start-ups in the last five years.

The Kerala government is all for fast-tracking this PPP move since it would mean that aspiring young entrepreneurs would now get an opportunity to work closely with big companies and create path-breaking technologies, said state industry minister. PK Kunhalikutty. Kerala is, incidentally, the hometurf of Kris Gopalakrishnan.