The selected startups will get product testing opportunities, networking facilities with customers, investors and the corporate industry.
The K-Accelerator programme — a partnership between Kerala Startup Mission and Zone Startups India — has announced its first cohort.
It includes 14 tech-focused startups from Kerala in the sectors of enterprise hardware, health tech, social impact, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and robotics. These startups have been identified from a pool of 100 applicants.
K-Accelerator was announced earlier this year when the Kerala government’s nodal agency for startup innovation (Kerala Startup Mission) teamed up with Mumbai-based tech accelerator Zone Startups to offer a three-month acceleration programme for revenue stage startups in the state. It included a one-week residential programme followed by virtual acceleration support from mentors.
The 14 selected startups are eligible for product testing opportunities, customer and industry networking, and introduction to potential investors and corporate strategists.
Saji Gopinath, CEO of Kerala Startup Mission, said:
“Exposure is a key challenge for Kerala-based startups. This accelerator programme bridges the challenge and ensures that startups attain product market fit and growth faster.”
The startups that made it to the first cohort are mostly from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. These include -
Tarjima (a multilingual, omni-channel, ecommerce solution that helps SMBs reach out to their customers over web, mobile and social media platforms).
Unity Living (a subscription-driven cloud solution for managing end-to-end activities of residential and commercial complexes, condominiums, villas, etc).
Hyreo (a SaaS solution that helps automate the entire recruitment process from creating job requirements and sourcing CVs to screening candidates, managing vendors and closing the recruitment cycle).
VrNxt (an interactive mobile solution that helps builders showcase their apartments in virtual reality to potential buyers).
Collect.Chat (a 24X7 interactive chatbot for websites that allows them to track their visitors and understand them better).
ViewBox (a cloud-based signage management platform for SMEs. It helps convert any screen into a digital signage).
OFaby (an ecommerce platform promoting the do-it-yourself culture through DIY kits and video tutorials)
Drinn (an IoT device that helps cardiologists and hospitals to remotely monitor their patients post surgery).
Instio (a SaaS tool for the hospitality industry that allows clients to monitor customer feedback, reduce churn, and take the right business decisions based on data insights).
SpotBay (a location-based contests app for hyperlocal businesses to promote their brands and attract customers).
SignNEXT (a social startup that aims to eliminate communication barriers in the hearing impaired community by creating video tutorials in sign language).
Asimov Robotics (automation services provider with expertise in robotic simulation and control, machine-vision, training, virtual reality, and navigation applications).
Graamya (a rural tourism initiative that enables local communities in Kerala to come together and create unique immersive experience for visitors).
FieldNXT (a tool for for field service management, customer management, dispatch, invoicing, payment tracking, and more).
In a conversation with YourStory, M Sivasankar, Secretary to the government of Kerala’s Electronics and IT Department, said:
“There are a large number of product and hardware startups coming up in Kerala since we introduced a startup policy in 2013. The local ecosystem is good for ideation and incubation, but is lacking in acceleration. This programme will allow the startups to get their business validated and also get them connected to the market.”
The IT Secretary added that Kerala was in the process of inviting several other national and international accelerators to run their programmes in the state. Kochi, he said, is turning into Kerala’s IT and startup hub. Additionally, the presence of the space centre in Thiruvananthapuram is leading to a lot of innovation in space research.
Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director (India), Zone Startups, said,
“K-Accelerator has been a learning experience for us in terms of being able to see the diversity of the startup ecosystem within India itself. Many things that we take for granted in Mumbai and Bengaluru, is not the case with smaller ecosystems.”