Helping innovators from campuses to turn entrepreneurs

Kerala Startup Mission to support 1,000 innovators from campuses

In a bid to zero in on talented innovators from campuses across the state and help them become entrepreneurs, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, has called for ideas of technology products and services from college students and faculty members as part of its annual pitching event Idea Fest.

With the campaign motto “Let 1000 Flowers Bloom”, Idea Fest-2022 primarily seeks to identify 1,000 student innovators and shortlist 100 best ideas from them for financial support. For the first time, faculty innovators can also apply for Idea Fest from this year onwards. 

Only innovators, whose ideas are at the stages of ideation, designing, proof of concept and minimum viable prototype development, can apply for the event. Company registration is not mandatory during the application phase. Student Innovators, who have availed Idea Grant before for the same team/same product/same idea cannot apply.  

1k innovators to get KSUM guidance

KSUM will provide an opportunity for all the 1,000 innovators to attend startup boot camps, get mentorship, lab facilities and other product development support. KSUM will also monitor the progress of the selected 1,000 student innovators through a technology platform, a startup mission source said.

In 2014, KSUM had launched Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) on campuses to promote technological entrepreneurship among students. KSUM supports the IEDCs through various schemes, including an annual grant of Rs 2 lakh to institutions to accomplish innovation activities among students. The last date to apply has been decided as April 30.

NRIC in partnership with Centre

KSUM had, a few days ago, also invited applications for its National Research Innovation Challenge, in an effort aimed at translating research-centric ideas into products having commercial viability. The National Research Innovation Challenge (NRIC) would be partnership with the Strategic Alliances Division, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India.

According to KSUM officials, applicants need to be researchers at higher-education establishments of national or state level, recognized research institutes or universities. Those interested can apply by April 30 for the research incubation programme under KSUM’s Research Innovation Network-Kerala (RINK) that facilitates links between frontline research organisations, startups, industry, corporate houses and government agencies.

Fifteen applications carrying innovative ideas will be considered for the NRIC incubation programme, for which authorities have earmarked Rs 25 lakh. Those selected and ranked first, second and third will get respective grants of Rs 10 lakh, 8 lakh and 5 lakh.

The topper will get Rs 10 lakh in total: Rs 5 lakh for product development, Rs 3 lakh to set up office and Rs 2 lakh towards rent. The thematic areas include space science, agriculture, healthcare, life science, smart city, cyber security, cloud computing, consumer tech and Ayurveda.

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