Kerala gets accelerator that will give a boost to start-ups

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November 3, 2020 3:00 AM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the accelerator in an online function, said the state has the reputation of having the country’s best IT climate, which it demonstrated even during the pandemic.

Sheela Lunkad was the CEO and MD of Desert Artisan Handicrafts Jaipur, a subsidiary of Fab India, which she built from scratch and turned into a huge profit centre.

Kerala on Monday launched a state-of-the-art accelerator for electronics technologies (ACE) that will provide a boost to start-ups striving to scale up as sustainable enterprises.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the accelerator in an online function, said the state has the reputation of having the country’s best IT climate, which it demonstrated even during the pandemic.

ACE, a joint initiative of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), will nurture the development of high-tech start-ups in electronics and allied disciplines.

The accelerator will be complementary to the KSUM-supported incubator in electronics technologies established in Kochi with the assistance of the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Chief Minister said.

“CADC will mentor the start-ups for a specific period by providing them access to the new facility’s physical and intellectual infrastructure,” he said.

Required to facilitate software infrastructure that supports research and development of high-end electronic systems, tools and services, the 50,000 sqft facility will provide 1,000 direct employment opportunities this month.

Vijayan said ACE will be “highly beneficial” to young entrepreneurs, enabling them to steady their ventures.

The Chief Minister said the pandemic and the ensuing restrictions have not impeded the prospects of Kerala’s growth in the IT sector, citing the example of the government-run Technopark. There is a large demand for KSUM’s scale-up space in Technopark, with 20 start-ups having already been allotted space recently. The plug-and-play space will be offered at subsidised rates.

While KSUM is the state’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities, CDAC is a premier research and development institution under the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT.

K Mohammed Y Safirulla, the state’s secretary, IT & Electronics, said that Kerala currently has 3,000 start-ups and a space of 4 lakh sqft for them. The state has 40 incubators, 226 mini incubators, one future technology lab and MIT super fablab each, and 22 fablabs. Kerala’s investment in IT stands at `2,000 crore in the past five years, he said.

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