KSUM hosts Huddle Global 2023 as a premier beachside startup meet

The inaugural of the flagship event saw the exchange of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between KSUM and Belgium, Australia, and the State Bank of India (SBI).

KSUM hosts Huddle Global 2023 as a premier beachside startup meet

Thursday November 16, 2023,

3 min Read

The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) hosted the fifth edition of the Huddle Global conclave as a beachside startup event at Adimalathura near Vizhinjam in Kerala. 

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the three-day event.

“Kerala will be developed into a major digital hub and a premier destination for startups. KSUM has secured the top position as a public business incubator in the UBI Global World Benchmark study in 2021-22, further transforming the state into a thriving startup hub,” said the chief minister. 

Tinku Biswal, Principal Secretary, Department of Revenue and Housing, presented a comprehensive report on the state’s startup ecosystem during the opening ceremony, highlighting a count of close to 5,000 startups in the state.

Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala; Belgium’s Ambassador to India, Didier Vanderhasselt; Catherine Gallagher, Head of Austrade, South Asia at Australian Trade and Investment Commission; and Rana Ashutosh, Deputy Managing Director (Transaction Banking and New Initiatives) SBI, addressed the inaugural session.

“Innovation and disruption have a long history in the developments of India. We have witnessed a 50% increase in the country in startups using advanced technology, especially the Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics, setting the pace globally independent with the amplification of entrepreneurial diversity,” said Dr Shashi Tharoor.

The event, featuring around 15,000 delegates from various sectors, showcased products from emerging fields like robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, life sciences, space tech, fintech, healthtech, and SaaS from across the country.

In addition to the main sessions, an expo on the sidelines provided over 100 nascent companies with the opportunity to display their products and interact with experts for advice on investment opportunities.

Shri Anoop Ambika, CEO of KSUM, highlighted, "The significance of this edition of Huddle Global is heightened by its choice of venue away from the city, showcasing the inclusivity of Kerala’s startup ecosystem centred on the idea of equitable distribution.”

“With over 150 MSMEs actively engaged in Trivandrum, the city stands as the launchpad for the vibrant Kerala startup ecosystem," he emphasised.

The event consisted of keynote sessions, tech talks, and panel discussions with international embassies, industry experts, and investors for startups to receive mentorship from industry leaders on various aspects of their business.

Organised in partnership with Startup India, Headstart, TiE Kerala, GTech, Startup Middle East, Habitat for Humanity, and Technopark, the event witnessed the participation of more than 5,000 startups, 400 HNIs, 300 mentors, 200 corporates, 150 investors, and speakers.

Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were exchanged between KSUM and Belgium, Australia, and the State Bank of India (SBI). KSUM plans to establish Startup Infinity Centres in the two countries, creating opportunities for enterprises from Kerala’s ecosystem to scale up operations and expand their market reach.

Other notable participants included Vice Chancellor of Digital University Kerala Dr Saji Gopinath; V K Mathews, Founding Chairman, IBS Software Services; Col Sanjeev Nair, CEO of Technopark; and Susanth Kurunthil, CEO, Infopark Kerala, among others.

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The event will further witness participation from speakers including Achim Burkart, Consulate-General of Germany in Bengaluru; Jonas Brunschwig, Consul General, Switzerland; Hans-Joerg Hoertnagl, Head of Advantage Austria in New Delhi; and South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes.

KSUM, the nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, has been organising ‘Huddle Kerala’ since 2018. Previous editions attracted more than 5,000 startups, investors, government officials, and members of the business community.

Edited by Kanishk Singh