The 2023 edition of the Huddle Global conclave kicked off with a significant milestone as the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) inked Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Australia and Belgium. The agreements pave the way for the establishment of ‘Startup Infinity’ centers in the two countries, marking a crucial step in fostering international collaborations in the startup ecosystem.

Inauguration by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan: Emphasizing Global Inclusivity

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the three-day event, described as a ‘beachside startup fest’ at Adimalathura, near Vizhinjam. He highlighted the inclusive approach of initiatives like Startup Infinity, aiming to bring together local entrepreneurs, business leaders, and the non-resident Keralite community for collaborative projects.

“This inclusive approach not only fosters innovation but also welcomes the participation of the global Malayali community in our mission to nurture start-ups and drive progress,” stated Mr. Vijayan.

Building Bridges with Australia and Belgium

Anoop Ambika, CEO of KSUM, exchanged MoUs with Didier Vanderhasselt, the Ambassador of Belgium to India, and Catherine Gallagher, Minister, Commercial, and Head of Austrade, South Asia. Startup Infinity, a KSUM program encouraging the NRI community to launch start-ups, aims to establish global centers serving as one-stop destinations to strengthen Kerala’s startup ecosystem.

Chief Minister Vijayan revealed the government’s plans to establish an ‘Emerging Technology Startup Hub’ in Thiruvananthapuram, envisioning the state capital as the digital hub of Kerala. He emphasized various government initiatives, including innovation and entrepreneurship development centers, young innovators programs, and incubation and acceleration programs positioning Kerala as a premier destination for startups in the country.

Belgium’s Perspective: Startup Infinity Centre in Brussels

Belgian Ambassador Didier Vanderhasselt expressed optimism about the collaboration, indicating that under the MoU, KSUM could open a Startup Infinity Centre in Brussels. The center is expected to offer selected startups rent-free office space for a specified duration.

Opportunities in Tech Start-ups

Catherine Gallagher, representing Australia, emphasized the ample opportunities for collaboration between Australia and India in the tech startup space. She highlighted Australia’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem supported by world-class universities and research and development.

In addition to international collaborations, KSUM signed an MoU with the State Bank of India (SBI) to provide financial services to startups. Rana Ashuthosh Kumar Singh, Deputy General Manager at SBI, outlined that the agreement would offer startups a wide range of banking and other financial services.

India’s Biggest Beachside Startup Event

The three-day conclave, touted as India’s biggest beachside startup event, anticipates the participation of 15,000 delegates. It features an expo showcasing products from emerging sectors such as robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, life sciences, space tech, blockchain, IoT, and e-governance. The event’s inauguration was presided over by Tinku Biswal, Principal Secretary (Revenue), and featured a keynote address by Shashi Tharoor, MP.

The MoUs with Belgium and Australia underscore Kerala’s commitment to fostering global connections and creating a conducive environment for startup growth. As Startup Infinity expands its footprint, the collaborative efforts are poised to contribute significantly to Kerala’s emergence as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship on the global stage.

By Admin

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