“Kerala’s dynamic startup ecosystem and highly skilled talent pool have positioned the state as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. As we continue to foster a supportive environment for startups, we are confident that Kerala will emerge as a leading destination for future technologies, game-changing ideas, and transformative solutions.”
In 2022, the Kerala government announced plans to create 15,000 tech startups in the next five years, and also approved an INR 2.5 billion ($30.4 million) VC fund. The state has also partnered with five VC funds as limited partners and made INR 9 billion ($110 million) available for startups. The Build it Big project by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) invites professionals to build products that can compete with world-class existing products. INR 10 million ($122,000) is earmarked for each product.
KSUM has announced the launch of four Startup Infinity spaces, launchpads for startups to scale globally, in the UAE, U.S., Australia, and Germany and plans to scale to other parts of the world. Startups from across the world can come to Kerala and explore the Indian market with three months of free space provided. The Kerala Government created India’s first facility for attracting Spacetech startups and the development of a manufacturing hub for space technology and R&D. The Research Innovation Network Kerala promotes technology commercialization.
KSUM provided INR 50 million ($609,300) in grants for startups in 2022 and offers a Soft Loan Scheme under which local startups with female leadership can access seed funding of up to Rs 1.5 million ($18,300). The scheme also provides technology commercialization support up to Rs 3 million ($36,600) for approved startups. In November 2022, the government approved plans to set up a new digital science park.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics
The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education plans to establish 9,000 Robotics labs in high schools across the state. In February 2022, the Kerala government announced the country’s first Graphene Innovation Centre, a joint venture of Digital University of Kerala, Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology, and Tata Steel. In 2023, Kerala unveiled a draft industrial policy that emphasizes upgrading skills in Kerala’s young people. The Super Fab Lab and 22 mini fab labs provide digital fabrication experience to youth in the state.
AI, Big Data & Analytics
Initiatives including Future Technologies Lab, Digital Hub, Design Incubator, and Digital University are bringing new talent into AI, Big Data & Analytics. Digital University Kerala launched training program Capacity Building in Responsible AI and Data Analytics for the Police Department in 2022. AI and machine learning applications company DCUBE Ai signed an MoU with Australian Spacetech startups SABRN and AltData. The companies will partner with Adelaide University to provide health services to astronauts.
Kerala launched the Genome Data Centre, a high-capacity data center and data hub for researchers, healthcare professionals, and public health officials to access and share genomic data in March 2023. A new Life Sciences Park is planned in Thiruvananthapuram. A Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation initiative, it will bring together research institutions, academia, and companies working in Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Life Sciences.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Kerala
The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is the central agency of the state government for entrepreneurship development. It has registered 4,000+ startups, dispersed Rs 50 million ($609,300) in grants, and administered a Rs 10 billion ($121.9 million) fund of funds. KSUM has established a network of 425 innovation and entrepreneurship development centers in universities and colleges.
With a literacy rate of 92.2%, Kerala is one of India's most highly skilled states, and the cities of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are hubs for international IT companies. Kerala has focused on upskilling through initiatives including Digital University, ASAP, Mu Learn, and Kerala Blockchain Academy. It ranked #3 among Indian states for its employable talent in the India Skills Report 2022.
Kerala is the first state in India to go fully digital in its banking services and also the first to declare access to the internet “a basic human right.” Launched in 2022, the Kerala Fibre Optic Network adds 17,155 km to the network. Kerala allows digital signatures on various official documents.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
News from the Ecosystem
Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.