Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has played a pivotal role in creating a robust startup ecosystem in the state which has helped generate a large number of job opportunities and address the unemployment problem besides promoting innovation based entrepreneurship, Minister for Higher Education and Social Justice Dr R Bindu said at Thiruvananthapuram, on Oct. 12, 2023.
The Minister was delivering the inaugural address at the eighth edition of Asia’s largest conclave for aspiring student entrepreneurs, IEDC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres) Summit, organised by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with the College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET) on the CET campus here.
“KSUM’s IEDC centres on higher education campuses have facilitated to transform innovative ideas of young innovators into prototypes of viable products and services, significantly contributing to the efforts to build a knowledge society, which the government aims through the Nava Kerala Mission”, Dr Bindu said.
Lauding the efforts of KSUM in building the most vibrant startup ecosystem in the world and showcasing it globally, the Minister said its activities have positioned Kerala the third among Indian states in terms of the employability of youth.
The IEDC centres will facilitate achieving the government’s target of providing employment for 20 lakh people. The initiatives involving higher educational institutions will strengthen the economy of the state, especially the industrial sector, the Minister said.
Stressing the importance of IEDC centres in transforming the student innovators from job seekers to employment generators, Dr Bindu noted that in total there are 453 mini-incubators in colleges in the state started as part of IEDCs – 175 Arts & Science Colleges, 177 Engineering Colleges, 34 Medical Colleges and 67 Polytechnic Colleges.
The Minister also extended government support to establish IEDCs in all higher education institutions and to upgrade top performing IEDC’s into technology business incubators.
Presiding over the function Dr Saji Gopinath, Vice Chancellor, Kerala Technological University and Digital University of Kerala said IEDC Summits which have helped discover socially committed startups were a life-changing experience for young entrepreneurship enthusiasts.
KSUM CEO Shri Anoop Ambika, while welcoming the gathering, said the Research Incubation Programme launched by KSUM in collaboration with MG University for boosting entrepreneurship among researchers has resulted in eight new startups besides applying for seven patents, which is a commendable achievement.
The IEDCs provide a kickstart to aspiring student innovators and young entrepreneurship enthusiasts. By enhancing technical know-how, facilitating skill development, and fostering financial literacy the summit will help in widening the perspective of student innovators, he added.
Dr Savier J S, Principal, CET, proposed a vote of thanks. Dr Sumesh Divakaran, Research Dean, CET also spoke at the function.
On the occasion the Minister gave away Rs 30 lakh as funding grant under Central government schemes NIDHI-PRAYAS and CSR fund to Ms Lissy Abraham of Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) Institute of Technology for Women and her students for developing Women Engineered Satellite or WESAT payload.
The first satellite in the country to be built entirely by women, this satellite measures the ultraviolet radiation in space and on earth’s surface besides understanding the impact of it on recent phenomena such as heat waves and climate changes in the state.
Minister also launched the present Leader Board of top 100 coders a first in the series of Top 100 Series’ launched by KSUM, in collaboration with GTech- MuLearn to identify, reward, and engage the talents in programming, product design, and product making.
For further strengthening industry – academia collaborations various colleges across the state will have KSUM’s LEAP (Launch, Empower, Accelerate, Prosper) Coworks space in various colleges across the state.
On the occasion Dr Rathan U Kelkar, Secretary, Electronics and IT, Government of Kerala, presented the membership card of LEAP Coworks to five colleges – Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ernakulam; KMCT Dental College, Kozhikode; Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kottayam; Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology, Thrissur and AL-Ameen College, Ernakulam.
He also gave away the prizes for the winners of international hackathon ‘NASA Space Challenge’ organised by Thrissur Engineering College for spotting the best talents in the unique world robotics space technology sector. Dr Saji Gopinath felicitated Dr Radhakrishnan, Director of Research Incubation Programme, a joint initiative by KSUM and MG University.
The conclave themed ‘Circle of Innovation’ brought together innovators from various domains.
The IEDC Summit, witnessed more than 10,000 participants, aimed at creating awareness and identify potential entrepreneurs, right at the undergraduate level.
IEDC Summit 2023 brought together the most ambitious and innovative student entrepreneurs from across the state to share their ideas, experiences, and knowledge. The summit was an amalgamation of events from a range of domains, including technology, entrepreneurship, and skill development, among others. It facilitated a platform for connecting student innovators, industry leaders, and various startups in addition to providing an opportunity for them to engage and network.
A premier event, the IEDC Summit had the presence of more than 453 colleges, 350 plus startups, 60 plus speakers, and 40 plus events.
Besides setting a platform for networking, product showcase, and flea market, the summit will also have idea pitching, hackathons, ideathons, challenges, masterclasses, workshops, etc.
KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.