Kerala has been single-mindedly focused on building a thriving startup ecosystem for a while now, and the Kerala Start Up Mission (KSUM), the nodal agency for implementing the state's startup policy is an organisation pioneering this change.
Formerly known as the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (Technopark TBI), KSUM had started its incubation programme back in 2002. In 2012, the incubator was entrusted by the government of Kerala as the agency for implementing its entrepreneurship development programmes in the state.
Since then, KSUM has actively worked to encourage entrepreneurship among students in Kerala. KSUM has come up with various schemes for the effective implementation of the state's progressive startup policy. These schemes cover schools, colleges, and young entrepreneurs. Additionally, KSUM is also engaged in building a global innovation incubator hub spread across an area of 13.2 acres at KINFRA Hitech Park, Kalamasserry.
In order to encourage entrepreneurship at the grassroots level, KSUM has distributed over 10,000 Raspberry Pi among students. 2,500 of these are distributed in government schools. Created by a UK-based foundation, Raspberry Pi is a single board credit card-sized, low-power computer that performs almost all the functions of a regular PC, allowing children to play around and experiment with, and become hands on with technology.
Using these devices, KSUM has trained 150 faculty members and 10,000 students directly on coding. An additional 30,000 students have been trained indirectly. KSUM has also distributed 4,000 additional electronic kits among students to bring them up to speed with technology and become future entrepreneurs.
The nodal agency is also directly engaged with 13 community partners who support startup community initiatives at the grassroots level. The initiative supports 15 incubators and 300 technology startups in the state. Through its 157 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development centres (IEDC) in engineering colleges, polytechnic colleges, and other educational institutions, another 200 IEDC student startups are supported across the state.
The Kerala Startup Mission featured some of its most promising startups at TechSparks 2016. These startups are using technology and innovation to solve real problems, and helping build the knowledge economy of Kerala.
The Kozhikode-based startup has built a platform for students to help them learn computer programming. Using its platform, the startup is teaching coding to students across the state, which will make them skilled and employable. The founders, Muhammad Haris NP and Anoop KC, started Baabtra System Technologies Private Limited in March 2010 when they realised the deeper problems while working with colleges and companies and trying to solve the problem of employment and access to resources in the state.
Baabtra is constantly engaged in coding skill development in colleges and educational institutions. The platform is connected with over 70 IT companies, 282 training institutes, and 80 colleges. Currently, the platform has more than 8,000 users, and plans to reach to 1,00,000 students by December 2017.
Bagyourjob.com is a job-site aimed at making the recruitment process simple. The website provides an easy way for placement cells of educational institutions to contact company officials and invite them to their institutions for recruitment. The companies can create their profile and directly recruit the students as well. Students can apply for suitable job positions through the placement page of their college websites.
Being incubated in Startup Village, Bagyourjob.com has contacts with over 500 startups across South India, and is collaborating with them. Designed in a way to enable students and professionals search for jobs based on their skills using user references, Bagyourjob.com.com encourages them to come back to either help friends or find better jobs. Bagyourjob.com also analyses information of employees and prospective candidates to help them find the perfect job. There is also a provision for online campus placement through which job fairs will be conducted every year.
LeadFerry Content Analytics is a web-based software that helps businesses generate more revenue by providing them with useful content marketing insights. Once a website creates an account with LeadFerry, they receive insights into different types of content, and teams such as editorial, product, sales, and marketing are helped in targeting and engaging their audience in a better way.
Currently incubated at the Kerala Startup Mission, Trivandrum, LeadFerry differentiates itself as a content performance solution platform when other analytic solutions are focused on tracking people and their actions. Instead of telling marketers what people did on the website, LeadFerry tried to understand how each piece of content performed in generating engagement and leads.
RecipeBook is an artificial intelligence-based recipe discovery platform. A user can simply click a photograph of ingredients available and the platform offers him/her a list of recipes that can be made using those ingredients.
Growing at a steady pace, the app has already crossed one million organic downloads in the last four months, and has become the first app from India to receive Editors' Choice at Google Play Store. RecipeBook is also partnered with Reliance Jio and Reliance Fresh.
Techmago is a virtual gadget vault where a user can store all his/her electronic gadget information like bills, warranty information, etc. The platform is built by Accensione Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a Kochi-based startup.
Techmago also provides its users with a full stack solution for repairing their gadgets. Currently, the services offered by Techmago include computer troubleshooting and handheld and networking device repairs within the city of Kochi.
Auzora Technologies Pvt Ltd was founded by Ajmal Azeez, Aswin R, Kishan Pankaj, and Balram P, students of Govt. Model Engineering College, Kerala. Their primary product, Spenwise, is a financial tool for the youth that helps them spend money more responsibly. It is a prepaid debit card along with mobile app for parents and child.
In order to ensure that children spend at the right places, parents can set spending limits or block transactions for their children. Additionally, parents receive real-time notifications whenever a transaction is made, so they can know instantly when and where their children are spending.
Igloo Innovations Pvt Ltd was incorporated in 2013 by Kannan SV, a graduate of Cardiff School of Management, University of Wales, UK, and G Vasundhara Devi, a retired English teacher. The Trivandrum-based startup focuses on mobile app development, game development, and branding. Their first app, VoteBox, was India’s first voting app and grasped national attention.
Their new product, SYLO, is a first-of-its-kind product in India. It allows its users to surprise their loved ones with personalised messages displayed on big screens of cinemas. The startup is currently working on expanding their services to stadiums, restaurants, malls, and flights.
Vyus Technologia has built ‘Vyus Case Stringer’, a software that enables legal professionals to go paperless and enhances their efficiency at the same time. Since lawyers and legal professionals create lots of documents that need to be managed in a systematic manner, Vyus Technologia has created a modern, cloud-based web application that innovatively helps a legal professional go paperless. The key advantage of this web application is that it can be accessed from anywhere.
The current version of the software has been booked by a consortium of 1,500 international and Indian lawyers. The software alerts the lawyers and clients about case hearings, preventing delays in judgments. Lawyers can also send case histories and other links to clients using the software. Given that currently around four million cases are pending in the High Courts and around 65,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court of India, properly managing case details can go a long way in timely settlement of cases.
Built by Realeffecx Technolabs LLP, a virtual reality- and augmented reality-based startup, StyleU is a mobile-based application that works as a virtual trial room for online marketplaces. The application helps users try out apparels virtually before placing orders on e-commerce websites.
The application built by the Trivandrum-based startup enables a user to check whether the apparel of their choice fits them rightly on their own virtual 3D mannequin. The app provides insights on what is best sold in the online markets, and allows users to mix and match apparels across multiple stores on their 3D mannequin.
A big shoutout to all our sponsors - Zendesk, Axis Bank, Sequoia Capital India Advisors , Digital Ocean, Microsoft, AWS, Akamai, Target, Verisign, Kerala Startup Mission, Brand Launch Centre, Tork and Blink.