KSUM a beacon for rest of India’s incubators: ISBA Meet

>>Kerala Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam will inaugurate the July 17-19 event

Top functionaries of startup incubators converged here today, as the three-day ISBA Conference got off to a start with the mission of bringing together incubators from across the country.

Kerala Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam will inaugurate the July 17-19 event, which is to hold the last two days of its proceedings at Kanjirappally in Kottayam district. The delegates will engage themselves in disseminating, discussing and sharing ideas, besides best practices and experiences to make India a noteworthy product startup nation.

Kerala Startup Mission started as an Incubator named Technopark Technology Business Incubator and have scaled to be the state nodal agency to develop the technology startups in the state. “Incubators across the country have a lot to learn from the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM)”, pointed out Dr K Suresh Kumar, president of ISBA (Indian Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Parks and Business Incubator Association).

The deliberations, which will continue on Thursday and Friday at Amal Jyothi College of Engineering at Koovappally off Kanjirappally, would take the mission forward by discussing new initiatives that can be undertaken. The event also strives to ensure a closer interaction with the Ministry of Science & Technology and other government departments.

At the ISBA Pre-conference in Kochi today, KSUM Chief Executive Officer Dr. Saji Gopinath said investment possibilities pose the foremost challenge for incubators. “We need to find ways to bring in investments,” he noted in his opening address. “That should be the main point of discussion at this conference.”

Dr Suresh Kumar pointed out that Kochi’s electronic hardware incubator Maker Village and Fab Lab that encourages printed electronics provide “great atmosphere” for startups to groom in this city. “I am sure the participants at ISBACON 2019 will have a fruitful time,” he added about the conference that gives a common platform to incubation managers, government officials, startups, domain experts and other ecosystem stakeholders such as investors, venture capitals and corporates.

The ISBA Pre-conference chiefly discussed three subjects across as many sessions. A master class on ‘Business Incubation Basics and Operational Nuances for New and Early Stage Incubators’ was led by Prasad M Menon, CEO of Mumbai Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration, and Technology Business Incubator (NIT Kozhikode) Manager Preethi M.

Another master class, on Seed Fund Management, was addressed by Prasad Shetty, Manager of Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIT-Bombay); Shruti Devasthali, Manager of Pune-based Venture Centre India; and Mr Vipul Patel, VP, Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (IIM-Ahmedabad).

A third master class, on Setting up Fab Labs and Maker Spaces, was led by Gaurang Shetty, CEO, Research Innovation Incubation Design Lab; Pavan Kumar Gupta, Director, Art Lab Foundation (Bengaluru); and Aditi Gupta, Managing Partner, Design Thinkers Group.

Maker Village organised a show of its innovative products at the venue. Its CEO, Prasad B Nair, addressed the gathering.

The first annual ISBA conference was held in 2007. The event has since been held in various cities with the basic objective being to promote incubation in and around these regions and also provide an opportunity for the local incubator members to showcase their products to the participants of the conference. The conferences are invariably of international nature, attracting both incubators and experts from several countries. It presents an opportunity to showcase the achievements and capabilities of Indian technology business incubation to the outside world.

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