Kochi: Kerala on Friday joined the league of states where the Centre is strengthening its national startup ecosystem network ahead of the G20 DIA Summit in Bengaluru this August, by holding a milestone event that showcases innovative solutions aimed at betterment of economies and uplift of societies.
The G20-Digital Innovation Alliance National Roadshow at Kalamassery brought together ecosystem-enablers such as incubators, venture capital firms, angel networks, startup founders, mentors and experts besides government officials as part of Kerala’s focused efforts to explore global impact opportunities through its nascent companies.
Organised chiefly by Maker Village as the country’s largest electronic hardware incubator, the regional meet at the Integrated Startup Complex featured four sessions and three panel discussions besides a product showcase by incubated firms. The event, named ‘Digital Solutions to Solve Global Challenges’, was co-hosted by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Digital University Kerala (DUK).
Carried out by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) in association with Meity Startup Hub (MSH), it concluded with a facility tour after taking an overview of the G20-DIA with its focus on six critical themes for the global community.
Maker Village CEO Nizamuddin Mohammed said the incubator dedicated to IOT, wearables and robotics features innovative products that go beyond meeting and tackling local social requirements. “Some of our hardware products are capable of addressing global needs,” he noted. “This roadshow shows the prominence Maker Village enjoys in the country’s electronic hardware startup ecosystem and the ways we contribute to society.”
DUK Dean Dr Alex P. James said the 2020-established university said the roadshow will impart a fresh vitality to Kerala’s contribution towards electronic design and product development. “While we ensure the commercial viability of products, their social impact is also a matter of priority,” he added.
G20-DIA has identified ed-tech, health-tech, agri-tech, fin-tech, secure digital infrastructure and circular economy as the six critical themes for the global community. The programme will see the participation of startups from G20 countries and nine guest nations, while engaging, showcasing and supporting a total of 174 startups from the world over, revealed MSH Programme Director Omkarnath Rath. “Featuring market access, corporate connections, investor connections, skilling and networking sessions, G20-DIA will culminate in a three-day Grand Summit in Bengaluru this August 16,” he pointed out, “Participating in it will be selected startups besides hundreds of investors and stakeholders.”
The inaugural session today saw the unboxing of the first semiconductor taped out by Silizium Circuits as a startup incubated by KSUM and Maker Village. Also launched was a DUK product: its first student startup website Ktoy.in enrolled under Meity Tide 2.0.
This was followed by key addresses delivered on topics such as ‘Framework to Support Innovative Startups through Strategic Collaboration across G20 Nations’, Catalysing Digital Transformation in beyond metro cities and ‘Role of Corporates and Indian Digital Startup Ecosystem in Transforming Human Values across G20 Nations’.
The panel discussions in the afternoon were on ‘Role of Academia & R&D Centres in Supporting Digital Innovations across G20 Nations’ and ‘Capacity Building in Digitisation, IT & Electronics System Design’.
Kochi was the eighth venue in the series of G20-DIA roadshows, which are slated to conclude this mid-summer. The earlier locations were Surat (Gujarat), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Chennai Tamil Nadu, Bangalore (Karnataka), Imphal (Manipur) and Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh).
KSUM is the Kerala government’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.