Kerala Student Startup Policy
Kerala Student Startup Policy
The Kerala Technological University (KTU) looks forward to providing an ecosystem where the educated youth of Kerala may reach their maximum potential. Society peaks when more of its citizens have access to experiences that are essential with their life goals and to achieve this, the development of increasingly complex skills is required. By integrating technological and creative talents of the students to decode contemporary problems smoothly, KTU aspires to jump-start an entrepreneurial culture that would contribute to knowledge, wealth and employment. This article talks about the various essentials of the Kerala Student Startup Policy.
Vision of the Policy
The following is the vision of the Kerala Student Startup Policy.
To bring Kerala to the top in terms of Destinations for Startups in India and to be amongst the top 5 startup ecosystems in the world.
Objectives of the Policy
The Kerala Student Startup Policy aims to achieve the following.
- To provide INR 2,500 Crores for the activities related to Youth Entrepreneurship.
- To attract at least INR 5,000 Crores in terms of investments into the Incubation and Startup Ecosystems in Kerala.
- To establish a minimum of 10 Technology Business Incubators or Accelerators in every sector in the State.
- To create more Indian-owned Global Technology Companies that are based out of Kerala.
- To develop 1 Million Sq. Ft. of Incubation space in the State.
- To encourage, facilitate and incubate a minimum of 10,000 technology product startups.
- To set up the platform for creating a minimum of one home-grown billion dollar technology company from all the startups.
- To facilitate Venture Capital funding of at least INR 2,000 Crores.
The following are the educational assistance offered to students through the Kerala Student Startup Policy.
- The incubation policy will cover incubation facilities for all students and alumni, irrespective of their streams.
- KTU would create indicators to measure and rank every department and college in the State. It would create a secure ranking system along with the Student Startup Index, as per the accreditation systems in India and the world to assist colleges towards accreditation. KTU would work with the institutions to build a unique ecosystem in all the campuses.
- KTU will bring educational interventions like smoothly integrating design thinking into the entire syllabi of all its courses, and bring innovation and entrepreneurship programs into practice mode.
- A Student/ Faculty Member would be permitted to apply for approval of a special elective, explicitly designed by the Student/ Faculty Member. This allows the student-entrepreneurs of viable startups to opt for a particular elective subject based on entrepreneurship, innovation and other related topics that would be essential to these future entrepreneurs.
- All the colleges affiliated under KTU must provide core infrastructure such as 5000 Sq. Ft. of floor area in their own premises for entrepreneurship activity. Completely furnished and ready to use “Plug and Play” Infrastructure along with computer systems with not less than 100 MBPS internet connectivity, electricity, security, water and other office facilities would be offered as a part of infrastructure support by colleges to set up incubators.
- Final-year students of KTU would be required to take a practical problem applicable in real-like and solve it as a part of their academic curriculum through their final-year project. The students, who have completed these projects, who hopes to convert their plans into services/ products and to set up start-ups, would be supported at various colleges through incubators.
- Patent Search and Analysis Report/ PSAR has been introduced with the objective of avoiding any repetitions in the projects. In this activity, each student of the 7th Semester of Bachelor of Technology would be required to study a minimum of 5 patents related to their projects and is expected to prepare a Patent Search and Analysis Report (PSAR). All students are required to learn provisional patent drafting, filing procedure with various patent filing forms, steps, fee and other essential details.
- KTU would permit inter-disciplinary projects for Final Year students. Such teams could comprise of students from more than one Engineering Department. For such projects, there would be a faculty Guide from the concerned departments, and the Guides would work together to offer support for the project.
- Students would be permitted to develop and work on their ideas and their products at External Companies or Incubators, as long as KTU certifies these entities.
- If an affiliated college requires to use Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a part of their syllabus, the college would be advised to opt for appropriate online courses as electives and apply for the same to the University, under the prevalent academic regulations. Students may choose various minor projects, MOOC-based certification programs and assignments instead of regular assignments for particular subjects.
- The College would select alumni Startup candidates based on an intensive review of each project submitted to avail this Policy. The chosen candidate would be required to work from the college Incubator on a day-to-day basis and would be expected to mentor various startup-related programmes for colleges.
- Student startups/ Alumni startups (within three years of graduation) which have made a high impact and which has an early-stage connection with the College Incubator would be given proper recognition or awards for their achievements.
- KTU would create a collaborative online platform to link student startups that will enable them to share their challenges, to connect them to suitable mentors and to catalyse cross-pollination of innovative ideas and to leverage the complementary resources and skill sets.
- KTU supports the concept of Student Entrepreneur at Residence. Students may be permitted to apply for a grant of official leave of a maximum of one year at a time for entrepreneurial initiatives during the course of their study.
- A unique scheme of faculty upgradation would be introduced. The Government supports the enhancement of infrastructure at universities in order to train the faculty for the development and promotion of innovation. A pilot scheme for University or College professors would be introduced. Those who work along with students at an incubator could move out and pursue entrepreneurship for a particular time and on failure, would be permitted to rejoin their post.
- To promote education in hardware manufacturing and to create prototypes of hardware products, mini fab-labs would be provided by colleges at incubators, to create derivative laboratories as these can produce more devices.
- Student entrepreneurs working on startup ideas from the beginning of their first-year may be permitted to convert their startup project into their final-year project for degree completion. Mentors assigned by the Incubators may be involved in the conduct of their Viva Voice. Project reports, certified by the Incubators, may be sent back to the relevant colleges, and then forwarded to the University.
The following are the financial assistance offered to students through the Kerala Student Startup Policy.
- KTU would set up its own fund or set up a fund with the support from various stakeholders and create a Prototype Fund that would be useful to very early-stage startups. The University would financially support the individual college TBIs and the student projects on the basis of merit subject to the availability of funds.
- KTU would also work with State Banks and other financial institutions in order to set up a “Student Startup Angel Fund” in an appropriate format. This would support the best from various campuses at the university level without any hassle.
- The University would create linkages with external angel networks and Technology Business Incubators and assist in linking suitable spinoffs to them in order to help student startups wherever in need or on a real-time basis.
- The University would work with various ventures and angel fund groups along with governmental institutions to offer help for students to obtain seed funding at the early stage of their inception as students are found to have a Minimum Viable Product.
Post by Chris John
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