Kerala to Celebrate Sep 12 as Entrepreneurship Day, Student Entrepreneurship Policy to Extend to school-going students

Startup Village’s milestone achievement of securing 1,000 applications in 15 months took on added shine on Independence Day this year as the state government announced the rollout of its flagship Student Entrepreneurship Policy to schools in the second phase.


In its second phase, the Student Entrepreneurship Policy, which is designed to encourage innovations by youngsters, will be extended to school-going students. Around 10,000 bright school students from classes VIII to XII will be chosen through an online examination and provided computers and other learning material to improve their technology skills as part of the new project.

“Young people are going to provide the strength for Kerala’s forward march, and our duty is to provide them the opportunities here at home,” the Chief Minister said, adding, “It is very clear that employment and growth opportunities around the world in the next fifty years are going to be based on technology.”

He declared that September 12, the anniversary of the Emerging Kerala meet, will be celebrated in the state as Entrepreneurship Day.

“Startup Village in Kalamassery has got more than 1,000 project proposals with novel ideas and concepts in just 15 months. This and the fact that Kerala today has 125 functional startups shows how widely the government’s policies have been embraced within the student community,” Chandy said.

Startup Village’s milestone was reached in exactly 479 days since the setting up of the incubator on April 11, 2012, as a public-private partnership between the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; Technopark, Trivandrum; and technology firm MobME Wireless.

Nearly 80% of the incubating companies there are product startups which require nurturing and support in the initial stages because it will take them at least three years to mature and demonstrate explosive growth.

“Young people in India today have access to education on a par with global standards. This is the resource pool that is going to create knowledge, employment and wealth for the society and the nation in the future. We see this raw, creative energy at work in places like Startup Village. A charged, vibrant ecosystem like Startup Village will be a catalyst for change and it will put Kerala on the global stage,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Infosys and the Chief Mentor of Startup Village.

“Now Kerala will seamlessly have a programme where young minds from 8th standard have opportunity to explore original thinking and learn computer programming languages in depth which will give them a great foundation to begin a startup from first year in college and have a successful company by their fourth year in college,” said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Board of Governors, Startup Village.

Startup Village Gets SEBI Approval for $10 mn Early Stage Fund

Startup Village

Market regulator SEBI has approved a $10 mn angel fund being floated by Kerala based telecom incubator Startup village. The fund could go up to $20 mn.

The fund will focus on Telecom and Internet sector and will begin investing once the initial close of $2 mn is received.

“The angel fund will be investing not only in the most promising startups located in Startup Village but also in similar enterprises across the country,” Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar said.

Infosys co-founder and Startup Village chief mentor Kris Gopalakrishnan; MobME, the country’s first campus telecom startup; Ravi Pillai, founder of the Rs 16,000-crore Bahrain-based RP Group; and other leading angel investors in India will be part of the fund.

The early stage fund will invest between $20,000 and $250,000 USD into startups. For higher amounts, the fund would co-invest with other early stage funds.

Vijaykumar said that the fund would leave the choice with the entrepreneur whether he wants to give a board seat or not. “There wouldn’t be tag-along/drag-along rights that the fund would take as well,” he said.

The Startup Village is a public private partnership with the government of Kerala and it wants to incubate nearly 1000 product startups over the next 10 years.

Recommended Read: Startup Village in Kerala has blazing fast Internet (1 Gbps) and it’s NOT Google Fiber

Of 10,350 Miles Roadtrip, Music and Why #nwplyng is Hot

now-playing-logoWhile one can check into Foursquare for places and GetGlue for movies and television shows, have you ever wondered whether there is a similar app for music. Well there is one now. Its called #nwplyng and it lets you check in while listening to music and share it on it on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. The app is currently available only for Android.

Utsav Agarwal, the founder & CEO of #nwplyng believes that where you at & what you are seeing play a crucial role in music consumption habits and has applied this in the creation of the app which adds more dimensions to the music experience by allowing a user to attach a picture and location along with what you are listening to.

App Review

Using #nwplyng is very simple. Once you download the app from the Play Store. You will be prompted to login using either your Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare credentials. You will then have to create a username and you are all set to begin sharing your music experiences.

There is a home page which will display what your friends are listening to. Your friends are automatically pulled from Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. You can also search for users. Each item on the newsfeed can be liked or a comment can be added to it just like with posts in other social networking sites.

The main feature of the app is sharing what you are listening to. This can be done in three ways.

You can open the app, click on the logo on the right top corner and just search for what you are listening to. You can then add a comment and even attach a picture and your location as well as attach a related YouTube video. The post can then be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

While the first method was quite nice, what we really loved was that when we were listening to music on our default music player, a notification popped up, reminding us to check in. This skipped the search step and a user can then continue sharing the music just like before.

The third way to input the name of the song you are listening to is to click on the microphone on the search bar within the app and let it guess the song for you, just like Shazam.

While sharing is just one bit of the app, the app becomes more immersive by adding gamification to it. The gamification in #nwplyng has 3 levels. There are 20+ badges, called Guitar Picks, that a user can unlock for sharing music. These badges can be unlocked by sharing from different cities, sharing same artists certain number of times in a week, sharing at a particular time of the day etc. Similar to the mayor on Foursquare, one can become a ‘Manager’ of an artist by sharing that artist the maximum number of times across the globe. There are also career levels, which replicate the natural career progression of a musician within the app. A user starts off as an Air-Guitarist, progresses to Street Performer, and keeps leveling up to eventually become a Rockstar and a Legend. This is dependent on the total number of check-ins plus your follower count.

Using the app was very enjoyable and definitely added a new dimension to our music listening. We could not find any bug with the app.

The #nwplyng Journey

In 2011, Utsav Agarwal went on a solo road trip across the US from Los Angeles to NYC. It took him over 55 days because he didn’t just take the straight route but zigzagged through the country. The journey which should have been 3,000 miles long was actually over 10,350 miles. He often slept in the car, took hostels on a few nights, met strangers and travelers from across the globe, and most importantly was following his idol Eddie Vedder (from Pearl Jam) on the road for 5 back to back shows. The highlight of his trip was that he got to meet him after a show at Hartford, Connecticut on June 18.

The idea for #nwplyng was conceived somewhere in the midst of this journey. He stopped over at many National and State Parks, and would sit gazing at the power of nature while listening to music on his iPod. He felt the need to share this moment through a picture, location and music. He felt that where he was, what he was seeing and the music he was listening to had a strong correlation, and thus the journey towards the creation of #nwplyng began.
The name #nwplyng was chosen as Utsav found that were over 100,000 tweets per day across the globe with the #nowplaying hashtag. After a bit of brainstorming he settled on #nwplyng as it was legible and stood out among the sea of #nowplaying tweets.

#nwplyng has a dedicated team of 5 working on the product. Utsav handpicked each of the five to help him create the product. Utsav Agarwal, himself has a vast music business background with over 6+ years experience in India & US including gigs at EMI Music India, OML, William Morris Endeavor and TAG Strategic. He is currently the product manager and handles marketing & PR as well. He is also in charge of keeping the fridge permanently stocked with beer.
Kumar Saurav is the Android developer of the team who had founded his own tech startup and scaled it from 4 people to 30+ employees within 3 years before joining #nwplyng. The iOS development is handled by Nakul Kabra. Goutham Vel is the backend engineer who worked with MobME for over 2 years before quitting to travel to the mountains for 3 months. Manas Vaze is the product designer of the team who was chosen after the team went through 7 designers in 8 months
The company is seed funded by MobME and is among the first batch of incubatees at Startup Village.

Future Plans

The team plans to launch the iOS version of the app by the end of the month and aims to become synonymous for music sharing, just like Spotify is for music consumption. They plan to build exclusive artist pages within the app and improve the game mechanics in the near future. They also plan to bring the experience to the desktop by replicating the entire product on the web and creating plug-ins from Chrome. Utsav hopes that in 4-5 years, there will be a #nwplyng button built into cars to seamlessly share a song.

Download #nwplyng from the Google Play Store right away and let us know what you think of the app.

Mallu Angel Network is here. Money wont be a problem for sure

Infosys Co-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan
Infosys Co-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan

In Kerala, the south Indian state popular as a tourist destination, there’s blazing fast Giga Bit Internet. Then there is the sprawling startup village which wants to incubate nearly 1000 software product companies in 10 years. And its got mentors like Kris Gopalakrishnan, one of the nine co-founders of IT services giant Infosys. What are we missing? Well, an angel network.

The state now has an angel network, called the Mallu Angel Network, led by the likes of Kris Gopalakrishnan and Kerala’s chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The network, as reported by the Wall Street Journals India blog, has plans to have 1,000 members in two years with each member investing up to $183,000. “It is also planning to leverage established startup financing networks such as Mumbai Angel Network and the Indian Angel Network,” said the blog.

The Economic Times reported today that the group wants to create a $20 million corpus.

In bits and pieces, Kerala seems to be building up its eco system with active support from the Government. The state launched its student entrepreneurship scheme for universities, colleges and polytechnics in October. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced earlier that universities will give 20 % attendance and 4 % grace mark for student entrepreneurs.

Where will the money come from? As the reports point out, a lot of money comes to Kerala already in the form of remittances. Remittances to Kerala, or the money sent home by Keralites working abroad, is expected to go up $11 billion in 2012, up 40 % from the year ago period. So far, all the money has been going into buying land, building barely occupied colossal houses and loads of gold jewellery. Hopefully, some of it will trickle down to the startups.

Few detractors have been crying on the sidelines that enough is not being done for the startup ecosystem in Kerala. Well that might be true if no one is asking you to define how much is enough or if you expect the sky from a very early stage ecosystem. The important part is that they have a plan. And seem to be hell bent on executing it. Why crib?

What are your thoughts?

All about Incubator action in India : When Incubators and Accelerators spruced up like ecommerce businesses [2012 Recap]

2012 was a defining year for Indian startup ecosystem – apart from the launch of few ambitious startups, the ecosystem witnessed launches of several incubators and accelerators in India. The year started with a handful of accelerators but today, we have more than 15 of them in India* (read: Incubators and Accelerators in India: THE List.).

Quick timeline and headlines

This year also saw this space receive much more coverage and wider acceptance from mainstream media including shows like SuperAngels etc. This has also helped reaching out to a wider audience, and in turn helped increase activity in the space.

Things that did NOT happen

  • Not much of action was seen from educational institution based incubators – the active ones (like iAccelerator) remained active and inactive ones didn’t show a lot of aggression.

Entrepreneurs are Incubating Entrepreneurs.

Startups in India need product/operational hand-holding/support more than a lesson in ‘how to raise Series A’ and this is where experienced hands are so important. 2012 witnessed the launch of incubators like AngelPrime, 5ideas, Kyron etc. started by entrepreneurs who have an experience in building products for the Indian market.

Apart from the fact that entrepreneurs are giving back to the ecosystem, they are also bringing a hands-on approach to building a business as part of these incubators.

This totally works for the startup ecosystem!

The Most Significant Impact

If there is one milestone that needs to be talked about, it would be the entry of 500startups in India (and launch of $5mn StartupWallah fund). 500Startups’ biggest USP is speed of decision making, which India based incubators/investor community has largely been lacking.

Apart from giving a direct connect to US based customers/ecosystem, this will also create a competition among the current incubators/accelerators and will force them to prove their worth to entrepreneurs.

In short, the equation has changed and is in favor of the entrepreneur.

The Not-so-Good News

We have shared our thoughts here : What do Startup Accelerators in India need? Brake and Clutch. Long story short, there have been too many of them trying to build either a real estate business (i.e. business center) and some building an iBanking business (i.e. we will take you to Series A) – just the way everybody was building an ecommerce *website* (only frontend/no backend) in 2010.

Not a problem, but the ones that will survive are the ones who stay relevant to startups and provide a deeper value than real estate/VC connect/motivational quotes.

In short, this is time to get one’s hands (and everything else) dirty. Apart from 500 startups, a few other US based accelerators are also planning to focus on the Indian market and will be here soon – for sure, it will be a super competitive 2013. Till 2011, ideas were chasing money, but now money is chasing good execution. An exciting time to startup in India and time to accelerate the growth!

Developing Trends

– Alumni networks – both educational and corporate – are coming together to support/bring connect to entrepreneurs. We expect to see some activity around this in the coming year.

– Incubators will be sharpening their focus on what exactly their differentiation is. Expect very different pitches, and a landscape that’s more favourable to the entrepreneur.

– VCs will need to get involved with early stage startups and incubators/accelerators and expect VCs taking a pie in some of these plays.

*For your reference, below is the list of incubators and accelerators in India.

[This article is part of our 2012 Recap series, and is supported by CCAvenue.]

2012 Recap/ 2013 Trends
CCAvenue is India’s largest payment gateway solution powering thousands of eMerchants with real time, multi-currency, multiple payment options online payment processing services. The solution is powered by proprietary technology that integrates transaction-processing, advance shopping cart, auction payment collection facility, mobile page, risk assessment and fraud control, smart analytical dashboards, financial reporting and order tracking and many more features.

Startup Village in Kerala has blazing fast Internet (1 Gbps) and it’s NOT Google Fiber

India’s Startup Village located in Kerala, the southern state known for its thriving tourism industry more than its technology prowess, got the fastest Internet connection in the country, at 1 Gbps on par with search giant Google’s Fiber network deployed in the US earlier.

The 1Gbps line was formally inaugurated by Kerala’s Chief Minister Oommen Chandy earlier this month.  “We are not behind Silicon Valley. Our youngsters also are privy to the best available connectivity,’’ said Startup Village chairman Mr Sanjay Vijayakumar.

India is one of the countries where the average Internet speed is the lowest.  Broadband penetration in India is at a pitiful 1.2 % and average Internet speed is barely 1 Mbps.  Search giant Google launched 1 Gbps Internet connection in Kansas City, USA, earlier this year.

Startup Village in Kochi, Kerala is a public private incubator which wants to spawn nearly 1000 software product companies in the next 10 years.

Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys said that the Startup Village at Kochi is the first location of this national pilot, which would be replicated to other parts of India in the coming months.

Earlier, Kerala also announced a policy for student entrepreneurs, giving them 20 % attendance and 4 % grace marks if they start up during college.

Newsreel [Oct 31] Disney buys Lucasfilm, makers of Starwars, for $4 Billion

Disney buys maker of Starwars Lukasfilm for $4 Billion: Two iconic companies are coming together. Walt Disney Co has agreed to buy George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, adding “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” to a roster of film hits including “The Avengers” and “Finding Nemo.” Lucas, 68, the sole owner, will receive half in cash and the balance in stock, becoming a major investor in the film, theme-park and TV company, according to a statement today from Burbank, California-based Disney. Disney has already bought up Pixar and Marvel, two of hollywood’s most lucrative franchises. Read more here.

Why did Lucas sell the company? Watch him explain here.

Acer delays Windows RT tablets after Microsoft moves into market:  Taiwanese computer maker Acer is putting off the launch of tablets using Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) new Windows RT operating system to give itself time to see how Microsoft’s own Surface tablet fares. The world’s No. 4 PC vendor by shipments initially planned to roll out Windows RT tablets based on ARM (ARM.L) chips early next year. Read more here.

Microsoft CEO says 4 mln Windows 8 upgrades since Friday: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft sold 4 million Windows 8 updates since the operating system went on sale last Friday. In addition, Microsoft noted, the company has shipped “tens of millions of copies” to its partners. Read here.

Sandy drives people to FB and Twitter: Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. became conduits of information for people seeking help or solace as superstorm Sandy ravaged the U.S. East Coast, reinforcing social media’s importance in connecting people during a crisis.  On Facebook’s Talk Meter, which measures conversations on specific subjects, Sandy was the second-most popular U.S. topic for 2012, with only the Super Bowl driving more activity, according to the owner of the world’s largest social network. Some of the most-shared terms early today on Facebook were “we are OK,” “power” and “damage,” the company said. Read.

Sony’s TV Business: Like Chrysler? Or Oldsmobile?: Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai is treating his TV unit like another Chrysler Group LLC: An ailing business that can be revived with sufficient cash. Investors say it’s more like General Motors Corp’s Oldsmobile, better shuttered than saved. Hirai has pledged to make profits at the TV unit by March 2014 after losing 692 billion yen ($8.7 billion) in the past eight years. He cut the number of models and ended a panel- making venture as part of his turnaround plan. Investors say it’s too much effort for too little return. Read more here.

IBM inks MoU with Startup Village UP to train students for IT: IBM and Startup Village Uttar Pradesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to offer engineering students and young professionals with knowledge and skills which will better position them in the IT industry. Read complete post here

Senior hiring slows down: Only  51% of employers expect to increase headcount, after backfilling for attrition, by March 31, 2013 as per a survey conducted by, India’s job search and career portal focussed exclusively on senior professionals. Of the 51% ‘optimist employers’ – those who anticipate an increase in headcount in their organizations – 87% expect to grow the total employee strength by 6-20%. However these gains are offset to an extent by stagnant headcount or active downsizing in the remaining 49% of employers. Read complete post here

Big Deal : Kerala Government’s student entrepreneurship policy is out [The details]

The Government of Kerala has launched its student entrepreneurship scheme for universities, colleges and polytechnics in the state. As promised when we first wrote about the government’s intention to give attendance and grace marks to student entrepreneurs, here is the first look at the new policy.

The government will categorize entrepreneurship at three stages

  1. Ideation stage: At this stage, an expert committee formed for evaluation of the ideas will interview each entrepreneur and analyze the business potential and feasibility.
  2. Teaming and company formation: At this stage, the team needs to register a private limited company or a limited liability partnership or a legally recognized entity (Learn about different forms of incorporation)
  3. Prototype developed/ Business started: This is a stage when the product is ready for commercialization and needs to be certified by experts. If its a services business, the company must be legally recognized and should have started generating income according to the business plan.

Approved Incubators in Kerala

Technopark TBI, Trivandrum
NITK TBI, Calicut
ITIH Tbi (Startup Village), Cochin
College of Engineering TBI, Trivandrum
Amritha TBI, Kollam
Central Institute of Fisheries Technology TBI, Cochin
NRI TBI, Kollam, Cochin & Calicut

Proposed Business Incubators

National center of excellence for entrepreneurship to be set up by Kerala Government and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)
Pushpagiri- Medical TBI, Thiruvalla
Care- Keralam- Ayurveda TBI, Trichur

All engineering colleges and government aided engineering colleges will be entitleed to apply for TBI status


Colleges will assign faculty members. University members will assign a coordinator. Additional Director in Charge of Supervisory Development Center, Kalamaserry will be designated as Entrepreneurship coordinator for Polytechnics.

Student entrepreneurs will have to apply to approved TBIs.

An expert committee will review the companies periodically.

Now, the important part. Grace marks and attendance

Duty leaves will given with the permission of head of the institutions

Attendance and Grace marks will be given to students who apply to approved TBIs.

Stages                  Grace Marks                  Attendance

Ideation                           1 %                                 5%
Teaming & Company     1 %                                 5%
Prototype/Income          2 %                               10%

If you win major prizes, you stand to get 2 % gracemarks in the corresponding semester. These details will be available on university websites soon.

*Hat tip: Rahul Ramesh of Codeyssus

Incubators and Accelerators in India: THE List.

Entrepreneurs have often asked us on a recommended list of incubators and accelerators in India. How much do they invest? How much equity do they take? Portfolio focus?

So here is the list (the table you see is just a preview, checkout the embedded Google excel) of accelerators and incubators in India.
The list will be updated frequently (and that’s why we used Google docs/link), so please share edits/additions by emailing to

We have also added list of college based incubators.

Preview: Incubators and Accelerators in India

Name of the Accelerator/Incubator Founders or backers( advisors) Size of the investment/fund
500 startups Founder Dave McClure. India is represented by Pankaj jain Phase 1: $25K investment.
GSF Rajesh Sawhney, Dave McClure( 500 startups), Saul Klein $25-30K for 5-8% equity
Morpheus Sameer Guglani + Nandini Hirianniah Rs.5 Lakhs and 7% to 12% equity for the startup accelerator program lasting 4 months.
TLabs Abhishek Gupta, Arpit Agarwal.. Invests Rs.10 Lakh for a 10% stake
Startup Village Public Private Partnership. Govt. of Kerala Rs.100 crore for 1,000 student startups over a span of 10 years.
The Hatch Anupama Arya, Puneet Vatsayan and P. K. Gulati Around Rs.10 Lakhs and a higher amount in select cases.
Mentors like Manish Sharma(printo) , Shabnam Aggarwal (Pearson) & Manish Agarwal ( COO Reliance Entertainment Digital)
AngelPrime Sanjay Swamy, Bala Parthasarthy and Shripati Acharya No fixed amount
Veddis Ventures Vikrant Bhargava Investments range from $250k to $10M.
Veddis has both investment and incubatee companies in its portfolio
Kyron Lalit Ahuja, John Cook and Larry Glaeser $50 million accelerator with $100,000 in seed funding for a 10 % equity in the startup
Microsoft Startup Aceelerator Mukund Mohan No investment by Microsoft, just connects them with Venture Capitalists
The Startup Center Vijay Anand Small amount of funding to the tune of Rs. 10 Lakhs (Approx $20,000)
5ideas Pearl Uppal + Gaurav Kachru 2.5 crore per startup and deep collaboration for 6-12 months and 5 startups a time
Venture Nursery Ravi Kiran and Shravan Shroff Associated Angel investors may invest up to INR 25Lakhs in a start-up. Startups will give 3% sweat equity to Venture Nursery on admission
Unltd India Pooja Warier and Richard Alderson 3 tier seed funding going from Rs.80,000 to Rs.20 Lakh.
The go-to choice for social entrepereneurs


– A big Yay to intern, Gurpreet for working on the list! For feedback, suggestions please email to or simply add to the forum discussion here.

NewsReel : Sep 22, 2012 [2567 developers at Microsoft’s Windows AppFest]

Here goes the daily Newsreel for today:

– Google plans to shut its once-popular music download service next month, read original post here / So Baidu trumps Google yet again, the promise of legal content on Google notwithstanding.

– Startup village, an incubator backed by Government of India, Kerala and people like S Gopalakrishnan has now eyeing to become world’s largest telecom incubator, read the complete story here / Kerala has been making all the right moves vis-a-vis startups in the recent past. Another success story in the making after the now popular “God’s Own Country”?

– EU forces Facebook to kill face recognition for now Original Story / Oh well, Facebook is having to grow up post IPO, isn’t it? 🙂

– Twitter’s Japanese Lifeline : Users can get emergency updates for any entered zipcode in Japan Original Story / Hmm, hyperlocal updates – news, services and ads next?

– You’ll soon get to download all your tweets, from what the Twitter CEO said! Original Story / Not sure how many users will actually do it, but this sounds pretty responsible.

– 2567 developers coding non-stop for 18 hours set a world record for the Most Participants in a Software Development Marathon in one Location at KTPO, Bengaluru. Read the original post here / Let’s have a quality record next, guys – this isn’t very different from sooo many tech parks!

– Facebook now lets you view your searches in your activity log. Original Story / That activity log sounds very very scary!

– Oracle promises to expand its cloud business as hardware sales slow Original Story / Is this a strong signal for the end of large enterprise software as we know it?

Kerala to boost student entrepreneurship in a BIG way:20% attendance and 4% grace marks for student entrepreneurs

Kerala chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday said that the state will give 20 % attendance and 4 % grace mark for student entrepreneurs. He was speaking at the inauguration of Emerging Kerala, a three day event showcasing Kerala as an investor friendly destination.

Kerala MLA Shafi Parambil on Facebook
Kerala MLA Shafi Parambil on Facebook

Of late, the south Indian state, which exports the largest number of workers to Gulf nations, seems to have woken up to the importance of nurturing entrepreneurship. Over  2 mn Keralites work outside India sending back money which accounts for nearly 22 % of the states GDP. Non resident Keralites are now looking to invest in various ventures back home, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at the inaugural ceremony.

In March, Kerala also became the country’s first state to have a public-private partnership incubator, Startup Village. The incubator with a projected investment of Rs 100 cr aims to nurture over 1000 student startups. It is promoted by industry leaders like Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys. Last week the telecom incubator signed a partnership with Finland’s Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE) to host AppCampus, a $ 24 mn mobile application program backed by Nokia and Microsoft in Cochin.

Meanwhile, Karnataka government is also working on a similar policy for entrepreneurs and startups. In an earlier interview with Pi, Karnataka’s Principal Secretary for Industries and Commerce, M N Vidyashankar had said that he policy is being shaped by the Vision Group on Information Technology and it will take final shape by November.

We are excited to hear this and are waiting for more details (the post will be updated with more details as we get them).

Meanwhile, read:

Startup Deal: Get 50% off on your Logo design

We are bringing back the ‘Startup Deal’ service and the first deal we are starting off with comes from Wowmakers,  a super-small, super talented Design-studio operating from a cool office inside Startup Village, Kochi, Kerala, India.

The Big Dealwowmakers

Get flat 50% off on Logo and stationary designs (Business Card, Letter-head and Envelope design).

Current Price: INR 10,000.

Deal Price: INR 5,000/

How to avail this deal? Send an email to with the reference ‘PluggdIn Deals‘ along with the details about the logo requirements.


Terms and Conditions: The final deliverables includes vector files for Logo and stationary designs. The stationary designs include Business Card, Letter-head and Envelope design.

– More detail here.

Adds team: Wowmakers is the company behind new UnPluggd logo

Startup Village : India’s first telecom incubator to take off in April with initial investment of INR 100 Crores

India’s first public-private partnership incubator, Startup Village, is ready to take off from Kerala in the second week of April with a projected investment of Rs 100 crore and the aim of nurturing over 1,000 student start-ups.


The first technology business incubator in the telecom sector, Startup Village will come up in Kochi, looking to emulate the famed Silicon Valley incubators and transform Kerala into ‘Silicon Coast’. Startup Village will focus primarily on student start-ups from college campuses and aims to incubate 1,000 product start-ups over 10 years and start the search for a billion-dollar company from a college campus by the turn of this decade.
Benefits to startups
– Incubatee companies in incubators recognized by the NSTEDB of DST are eligible for service tax exemption for 3 years and upto 50L of revenues.
– Incubatee companies are by default selected to make a pitch presentation to Startup Village Angel Fund. This Angel Fund is backed by the broadest community of entrepreneurs and an investment from this broad group of HNI’s extends their vested interest in the success of your company.

The project is being set up by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) under the DST, and the Kerala Government-run Technopark, in collaboration with MobME Wireless – a private firm which began as a student start-up and has grown to become one of India’s top 10 emerging companies.
Watch Mobme story, as told by Sony Joy – cofounder of Mobme at the UnPluggd conference.

Weekly Recap – Startup Village, m-Gov Framework and more

Most Popular Articles (week ending January 22nd, 2012)


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And India’s First Startup Village Launched at Kochi

The country’s first Public Private Partnership (PPP) telecom business incubator – ‘Startup Village’ – will be set up at Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Park in Kalamassery (Kochi).
Startup Village will focus primarily on student start-ups from college campuses and aims to incubate 1,000 product start-ups over 10 years and start the search for a billion-dollar company from a college campus by the turn of this decade.

The agreement on taking 15,000 sq ft space was signed between MobME Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Vijayakumar and Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation managing director S. Ramanath.The first phase of the Startup Village is expected to be inaugurated by February this year and the first batch would be inducted by April. [via]

This is also India’s first public-private partnership (PPP) telecom business incubator.

Read: MobMe story (From selling Prepaid SIM cards to Building Telecom Business )