This article is part of the series called Startup Hatch, about incubators and accelerators in the startup ecosystem.
USA and China have more than 8,000 and 6,000 incubators respectively. On the other hand, the number for India stands at a miserly 60. These numbers themselves make ‘The Startup Village’ a splendid idea. In a first ever public private partnership (with MobMe as the private entity), Kochi Startup village has chalked out a roadmap to incubate and develop 1000 student startups over the next 10 years with Rs 100 crore.
The startup village has been portrayed as a telecom business incubator. “Putting it only as Telecom would be a bit rigid.It’s mainly mobile and internet startups.” says Sony. This focus can be gauged from the first two student startups that have been chosen- Wowmakers, a branding and design company into mobile applications and Mindhelix, a mobile application development company. “The main reason to setup the village for companies in this sector is because they’re not capital intensive” says Sony.
Primarily, the startup village will have three verticals/ways in which it’ll help the startups:
- Incubator- The general mentoring program which stretches over a longer period
- Accelerator- Dedicated 3-4 month guidance for startups along with an investment of 5 lakhs
- Angel Funding- The biggest names in the funding arena from India are involved and funding figures are likely to hover anywhere between INR 25 lakhs to 2.5 Crores.
MobMe, being a student startup which was incubated six years ago with Sony Joy as the CEO, felt the need for more incubators to help the burgeoning startup scene. “Having been in this industry for long and having contacts with the right people, we were able to see this through.” says Sony about what made it possible to get into a partnership with the government of India. Other players behind the Startup Village are The National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, the Department of Science and Technology and Technopark. The location will also not be a hindrance as the program would be incubating startups situated or based out of any other city. Startups in and around Kochi will have an edge with the option of moving in comfortably but the program is by no means geographically restricted. “The main aim is to attract and develop great quality startups” says Sony.
For this, top notch facilities would be provided in this 15,000 sq. ft. area at Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) Park, Kalamassery. 5,000 sq. ft. would be opened on April 1. KPMG and other big names would be on board as well to provide resources to these budding student startups at concessional prices. With prime facilities, skilled mentorship and resources at ready disposal, Startup Village will be the optimal place for any startup looking for guidance.
We'll be bringing you the stories of the first two selected startups, Wowmakers and MindHelix very soon.
- Jubin Mehta