The Kerala state government has made a little alteration to its policy on supporting startups. In reality, the state has fallen line with the main Startup India policy of the Union Government. This change of extending the overall duration the government offers its support to startups for 7 years instead of the earlier announced 5 years, has come about through an announcement by the state government.
The revised guidelines will apply to fresh startups as well as to the existing ones and even if a venture has been acquired or merged or amalgamated with another also, this 2-year extension will be made available.
As already reported, Kerala has been one of the states to have moved fast on the startups in the state. It has floated a special purpose vehicle, KSUM, which stands for Kerala Startup Mission and its major objectives are to encourage entrepreneurship and offer incubation support to those coming forward with innovative business ideas from within Kerala.
The state has had certain inherent drawbacks due to which there are no major industries and this directly affects the employment scenario among the youth of a state which otherwise enjoys a high level of literacy. The Left Front government has therefore been under some kind of pressure to do something concrete on this front. Bright young Keralites either migrate to other states to seek employment or even to start a business. KSUM is an initiative to try and scout for talent within the state which can then be incubated, supported through funding opportunities and monitored to ensure they achieve their objectives.
Justifying this extension in the duration of support, KSUM said in a statement that while the services sector startups may require a shorter gestation period, those in the products development space will definitely need longer time to be successful in creating, then commercializing and turn profitable in the venture. This has only led to the state government announcing this 2-year extension.
KSUM has been very active over the past few months conducting roadshows in different parts of the state, trying to involve college students in its entrepreneurship initiative and encouraging the youth to come up with innovative ideas.
Where startups do get founded, KSUM takes them under its fold and helps them with many types of support including seed funding and arranging meetings with prospective investors and so on.