Thiruvananthapuram: In a move to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs in Kerala’s tier 2 and 3 cities and help them realize their startup dreams, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) will be organising a state-wide, over 1000-km long ‘Startup Yatra’ this November.

The march will be flagged off from Cliff House, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s official residence in Thiruvananthapuram, on November 1. It will then proceed all the way to Kasargod, covering multiple educational institutions on its way, before hosting a grand finale at the state capital’s Park Center on November 26-27.

The ‘Startup Yatra’ is being organized in collaboration with Startup India, the Central government’s flagship initiative to empower startups through innovation and design. According to the organisers, the primary objective of the march is to identify promising entrepreneurs from the state’s smaller cities,offer them support in terms of incubation and mentorship from renowned institutions and also help them tide over the lack of resources.

The yatra’s highlight will be the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Centre (IEDC) Summit at Amal Jyothi College, Kottayam, on November 3. One of Asia’s biggest gathering of startup aspirants, the Summit will be a one-of-its-kind platform to facilitate the transformation of entrepreneurship-related ideas into market-fit products. The yatra will reach TiEcon Kerala 2018, south India’s largest convention of entrepreneurs. The theme of the event, to be held on November 16-17 at Le Meridien, Kochi, is ‘Rebuild Kerala’.

As part of the yatra, eight boot camps and 14 van stops are planned across the state’s 14 districts. The boot camps, to be held at colleges and universities, will hold ideation workshops and idea-pitching sessions for students. Aspiring entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas to a panel and the winners will get an opportunity to participate in a two-day acceleration programme with a leading incubator. At the end of the programme, the shortlisted candidates will be able to pitch for offers by incubators as well as incentives by the state government.

The boot camp venues are Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram; TKM College of Engineering, Kollam; St. Joseph’sCollege of Engineering and Technology, Palai; St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam; Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology, Thrissur; National Institute of Technology, Calicut; Government Polytechnic College, Meenangadi,Wayanad; and LBS College, Kasaragod.

The yatra’s entire itinerary and registration forms for attending the van stops or boot camps can be accessed here .

By Manoj

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