Supporting young entrepreneurs will be top priority for Kerala government: Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Saturday  that his government would focus more strongly on promoting young and budding entrepreneurs with policies and all other necessary support.
Interacting with students at the IEDC Summit 2017, billed as India's largest such event for young student entrepreneurs, he encouraged them to set their sights on innovation and excellence.
“The students have exhibited a number of prototypes as part of the event that proves the ability of these youngsters. I am sure that you can stretch beyond these. The state government has always been a staunch supporter of the start-up ecosystem and will give you full-fledged support henceforth,” he said.
The Chief Minister also launched a startup venture, Traffitizer – a novel solution to help ambulances stuck in traffic. Traffitizer- Emergency Response System (T-ERS) is a centralized Internet of Things (IoT) based system, with artificial intelligence at different levels, that enables automatic switching of traffic lights to green for ambulances to pass through.
Kochi City Police Commissioner M P Dinesh also spoke on the occasion. “The product would help the police to manage emergency situations,” he said.
Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Union Telecom Secretary, appreciated the efforts of the state government and the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in nurturing the startup ecosystem in the state.
“I am overwhelmed when I see youngsters like six-year-old Saarang Sumesh who has developed a humanoid that can fire bullets. India is full of challenges and when I look at the crowd at IEDC 2017, I am sure that these youngsters will convert those challenges to opportunities,” she said.
Kerala IT Secretary M Sivasankar said a number of schemes in the pipeline for supporting the startup ecosystem. “Kerala is the first state to have startups in colleges and the only state which provides incubation and grounding facility for budding student entrepreneurs,” he said.
He lauded KSUM for working towards promoting entrepreneurship among youth on behalf of the state. He also released the KSUM status report during the event.
The event saw participation from around 200 Innovation Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) – small incubators set up in engineering, technical, management and arts and science colleges – to help students pursue innovative ideas and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.
Kerala Technical University Vice-Chancellor Kuncheria P Issac,  in his keynote address, highlighted the availability of opportunities to recreate the Silicon Valley in Kerala.
“The KTU has been introducing a number of schemes to promote entrepreneurship. We are even set to introduce a minor degree in entrepreneurship, which is probably the first of its kind in the country. There is a favourable eco-system to recreate the Silicon Valley here in Kerala,” he said.
KSUM CEO Saji Gopinath presented the IEDC report. He noted that KSUM is on the path of extending the IEDC programme to 500 colleges in the coming year.
“IEDC’s major role is to evangelize students, promote innovations and incubate the ones with potential. However, extending the service, we also seek students to support the innovators who have not attended college education,” he said. 
Mr. Scott O’Brien, CEO and co-founder Humense, a Sydney-based company specializing in Virtual (VR), Mixed (MR) and Augmented Reality (AR), stressed the need for start-ups to move to scale-ups for progress. "The first thing you need to possess is knowledge about the industry and later learn new things,” he said.
Google India Vice-President Rajan Anandan said that India is witnessing a revolutionary change in the digital platform.
“Gone are those days, when India lagged behind in technology. India’s start-up companies are making big revolutions across the world,” said Mr. Anandan.
Kerala witnessed its first ‘Bitcoin Airdrop’, joining in a worldwide initiative that sees cities, Fintech organisations and educational institutions in 11 regions mine and distribute free bitcoins to grow their local digital currency communities. KSUM also signed different agreements with investors as part of the event. 


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