Kochi: Kerala has received an entrepreneurial offer from Silicon Valley: a prominent accelerator that helps start-ups to grow and secure venture capital funds has evinced interest in starting its Indian operations in the state. A proposal in this regard has been submitted to the state's Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
An accelerator arranges technical, marketing and financial assistance to startups that are about to stand on its own after incubation. Silicon Valley in California has many accelerators. Among them, a prominent company, Cleantech Open, is considering to enter Kerala. The company encourages environment friendly and clean technology.
Earlier, Unido, the industrial development division of the United Nations, and Cleantech had jointly held a competition in India to find the best entrepreneurial ideas. In that competition, a small wind turbine from Avant Garde Innovations, a star-tup led by Malayalis, was selected as one of the best 20 ideas. Cleantech submitted the proposal to enter Kerala following Avant Garde’s presentation about the state.
By now, Cleantech Open has led more than 1,000 companies onto the path of growth. It has also provided 1.1 billion dollars (approximately 7,000 crore rupees) to these startups. A prominent accelerator from Silicon Valley has submitted a project proposal at a time when the state’s IT department is trying to establish a direct link to that area, said Arun George, CEO of Avant Garde.
Cleantech Open is not a corporate entity but a not-for-profit organisation with which giant companies such as Google and Intel cooperate do business. Cleantech CEO Rex Northen said in the letter that such a centre of excellence needed 1 lakh square feet of space.
Cleantech will bring experts from Silicon Valley to train entrepreneurs and provide office space and laboratories for start-ups. This will pave the way for the entry of multinational IT giants into the state.
Nasscom, the association of IT companies, has started an accelerator at Infopark. It offers 120 seats. In the capital, EY runs an accelerator at Kinfra Park, Kazhakoottam.