Through their innovative ideas and enterprises, students can effectively contribute to Kerala’s efforts to become a knowledge economy
Timely guidance and practical knowledge could go a long way in fostering entrepreneurship spirit among students, and handholding them in the arena of entrepreneurship will help in effectively addressing the unemployment problem in Kerala. Felicitating the winners of the Idea Fest 2021 at the Technopark in the state capital Minister for Higher Education Dr. R Bindu added that through their innovative ideas and enterprises, students can also effectively contribute to Kerala’s efforts to become a knowledge economy.
Idea Fest is an initiative by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to identify student innovators and techno-entrepreneurs from campuses through its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (IEDC) scheme. A flagship initiative of KSUM, it seeks to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among students and academic fraternity in the educational institutions across the state.
Teams with 68 ideas selected from a total of 681 ideas were felicitated at the function where the IEDC Accreditation was also given away to eight colleges based on their performance from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2021.
Skill training for students through various projects
Noting the importance of experiential learning, the minister said apart from classroom activities, it is also vital to conceive skill development programmes for students to kindle their creativity. She said skill training is provided to students through various projects by realizing the requirements of different industries.
Stating that bringing down the skill gap is essential to make progress, the minister added that the state government is ready to provide full support to skill training programmes.
She stated that it is imperative to tap the talents of youngsters, who prefer going abroad after securing ample skills, and their innovations have to be leveraged properly for the prosperity of Kerala’s economy.
Bridging the gap between industry and academia
IEDCs will help bridge the gap between industry and academia by conducting skill development training programmes for students, said John M Thomas, CEO, KSUM. IEDCs act as an aggregator by focusing on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship for growth. The experience and exposure students get from IEDCs are priceless. The budding entrepreneurs emerge from IEDCs are the torchbearers of tomorrow’s Kerala startup ecosystem, he added.
The Idea Fest 2021 had witnessed a total of 681 ideas and an expert panel selected 68 ideas that are eligible for getting a grant of Rs 2 lakh each, besides mentorship, lab and other product development support from KSUM.
KSUM, the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, has a network of 341 mini-incubators, called IEDCs, on campuses. Launched in 2014, IEDC also aims at promoting entrepreneurial culture in educational institutions and developing institutional mechanisms to foster techno-entrepreneurs.