Kochi: Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar, who played a key role in setting up India’s first technology business incubator on the PPP model in Kerala, has been appointed an Advisor to the Rajasthan government’s Startup Council to create a startup ecosystem in the western state.
The Startup Council, headed by the Rajasthan Chief Minister, comprises a Member Secretary, nine members and eleven eminent experts from the industry.
The 32-year-old Vijayakumar has been appointed in his capacity as an eminent expert of the Startup Council, whose mandate is to play “an advisory role and act as a think tank for strengthening the startup ecosystem” in the state.
Vijayakumar shares the honour with some eminent industry experts like Kunal Bahl, co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal; Sharad Sharma, founder of iSPIRIT, a think tank for the Indian software products industry; T V Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education, Bengaluru; and Viru Gupta, Founder and CEO, News Hunt.
“The decision of the Rajasthan government to create a startup ecosystem is a growing affirmation of the expanding footprints of startup culture in the country. It is also a validation of the pioneering role of Startup Village which is fast shaping up as a national player with a strong focus on student entrepreneurship and culture of innovation,” said Vijayakumar, who is Startup Advisor to the Kerala and Andhra Pradesh governments.
“Startup Village is a replicable model, and it needs to be scaled up across several states. For realising such a goal, it is imperative to go digital to reach every deserving student, no matter whether he or she is in a metro, a big city or a small village in the country,” he noted.
Vijayakumar was earlier appointed by the Central Government as a Board member of Indo-US S&T Endowment Fund, which supports and fosters innovation and techno-entrepreneurship through application of science and technology.
So far, Nine states send high-level delegations to the 2012-founded Startup Village to study the model which has brought about significant changes in the entrepreneurial climate of Kerala.
“There is now opportunity for every state to create a homegrown Infosys or Google, and ecosystems like Startup Village help in creating an environment to Build, Break and Innovate. India needs many such facilities where young students can dream about being effective disruptors,” said the Startup Village chairman who is co-founder of MobME Wireless, one of India's early student startups.
"The Internet has made knowledge and information accessible in all parts of India. With the right entrepreneurial and financial literacy, the country with four million engineering students can create our own Apple, Google, Microsoft or Facebook,” he said.
“The Startup India plans to scale the startup ecosystems across the country rather than restricting it to metro cities. With over 225 million youths in the 19-25 age groups, we need to create a million jobs a month for the next 20 years to employ all our youth. This huge number of jobs will come not from established companies but from startups and this is where efforts to create ecosystems like Startup Village become important,” he noted.