Kerala Startup Mission


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Kerala Startup Mission


The Government of Kerala has been proactive in taking several initiatives to create a dynamic environment for start-ups. All such efforts have contributed to the growth of technology entrepreneurship fostered by innovation. There are many startups in Kerala focusing on future technologies and finding solutions in novel ways.

The Kerala Startup Mission is an initiative by the Government of Kerala. It was orchestrated for the promotion of startup growth. Kerala Startup Mission or KSUM was formerly known as Technopark TBI.

About Kerala Startup Mission

The Kerala Startup Mission is a nodal agency of the Government of Kerala. It was devised because of entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state. The initiative has worked wonders for the development of entrepreneurial activities at the student level. Through this initiative, the Kerala government has established the Kerala Technology Innovation Zone, a global innovation incubator for multiple technology sectors under one roof.

The Kerala Startup Mission covers all the initial steps involved in a startup such, as capacity development, infrastructure development, funding, etc. In addition to this, KSUM has come up with several schemes which aim at supporting young minds.

Objectives of Kerala Startup Mission

The primary objective of KSUM is to undertake planning, establishment, and management of Technology Business Incubators and Accelerators in Kerala. It is done to promote technology-based entrepreneurship activities and create infrastructure for activities relating to them.

Some more objectives of the Kerala Startup Mission are:

  • Increasing the intensity of Research and Development. 
  • Stimulating the climate and culture of innovation.
  • Technology commercialization.
  • Supporting the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • Helping in the reduction of entry barriers of the industry.
  • Creating infrastructure for innovation in technology transfer labs, science hubs, and business/technology incubators.
  • Coordinating the working of all other incubators within the state of Kerala.
  • Encouraging the inclusion of strategic technologies amongst Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • Planning and implementing linkage between industry and networking activities.
  • Facilitating access to pre-commercialization funding.
  • Seeking the provision of tax incentives such as capital cost allowances and R&D tax credits.

Eligibility Criteria for Kerala Startup Mission

The formation of the Kerala Startup Mission aimed to provide funding and incubation to young business owners working with technological innovations. There is a separate eligibility criterion to register under KSUM.

  • The student applying must be studying in the state of Kerala.
  • The student must show an active interest in their startup.
  • Registration by a Kerala-based innovator is also permitted.
  • Any startup registered in Kerala can enroll itself.
  • The startup must not extend more than seven years. In some cases, such as Biotechnology Startups, this limit has been further extended to ten years.
  • Startups willing to register must not have an annual turnover of more than Rs.25 crores in the preceding financial years.
  • All the businesses involved in the development of products, processes, and services are eligible to register.
  • All scalable businesses having high employment generation potential are eligible to register.
  • The startup should not be an entity formed by splitting up or reconstruction.
  • Startups that have completed seven years will only be qualified if they have obtained the Inter-Ministerial Board set up.

Kerala Startup Mission Schemes

The Kerala Startup Mission has started several programs and schemes for the development of student entrepreneurship. All the schemes are initiated under the ‘Startup Policy’ governed by the Kerala Government. Startup programs under KSUM cover areas such as schools, colleges, and young entrepreneurs for effective implementation.

Some important schemes related to business loans and their implementations are:

Incubation/Acceleration Scheme

Under this scheme, startup founder is eligible to receive a variety of State and Central Government schemes and grants. It provides incubation startup facilities to businesses. The incubation process consists of the following steps:

  • Idea Acceleration- Idea to Concept stage
  • Product Acceleration- Concept to Launch stage
  • Market Acceleration- Launch to Revenue stage

The incubation/Acceleration scheme by KSUM consists of the following:

  1. Support Services to Entrepreneurs

Under this, KSUM supports the following activities:

  • Annual Accounts Preparation
  • Secretarial Services
  • Taxation Services
  • Audit Statement Preparation
  • EXIM/TAN/PAN/SEZ Services
  • Financial Plan and Projections
  • Trademark, Patent, and Copy Rights
  • Notary Services
  • Business Valuation and Investment Pattern
  • Legal, IP, and Client Agreement
  1. Support for Marketing

The following activities are supported under this scheme:

  • Product launch coverage
  • Digital Marketing
  • Digital and Print Media Branding and Promotions
  • Corporate and Product Promo Video Production
  • PR Activities
  • Digital Marketing Consultation, Agency Charges, DM Tools and Analytics Program Subscription
  • Access and subscription to various digital platforms such as Email, social media content marketing, insights and analytics, SEO, etc.
  1. Support for R&D Connect

This grant would support the development of technological innovations and products in the research and development stage. It is one-time assistance provided to hardware manufacturers having a strong R&D component.

  1. Mentorship and Connect Programs

Under this, the startup leadership academy and training program supports mentorship schemes. Here, startups are mentored by various known mentors who are recognized globally. The program provides changes for startups exposing them to global markets and institutions.

Funding Schemes

Funding schemes under KSUM are as follows:

  1. Innovation Grant: An innovation grant was initiated by the Kerala Government to promote driving forces such as innovation and R&D. This grant is given to encourage innovative solutions for age-old problems.
  2. Early-Stage KSUM Seed Fund: This funding scheme offers financial assistance to startups for encouraging the economy of the state through venture creation and increased employment. It also supports leveraging private investments.
  3. Early-Stage Equity Fund: Under this scheme, KSUM has partnered with SEBI accredited Venture Capital Funds to create a corpus fund for startups. 
  4. Patent Support System: This scheme was proposed during the financial year 2015-16 budget speech. It helps student entrepreneurs in obtaining a patent.

Apply Online

Visit KSUM website – or

Click on Apply now option.

Kerala Startup Mission FAQss

1. What is the limit for the Innovation Grant given by the Government of Kerala under the Kerala Startup Mission?

The Government of Kerala has set a limit of Rs.2 lacs for the Innovation Grant under the funding scheme of the Kerala Startup Mission. This limit is forced for every idea of innovation or startup and cannot be exceeded.

2. When was the Kerala Technology Startup Policy introduced?

The Kerala Technology Startup Policy was introduced in 2014. In 2017, it turned into establishing more proactive measures in the new State IT Policy.

3. What are the stages of a Startup Life Cycle that KSUM supports?

KSUM supports all four stages of the Startup Life Cycle. These stages are: 1. Validation, 2. Product Development, 3. Commercialization, 4. Scale

4. Apart from business funding, does KSUM also provide skill enhancement programs?

Apart from business loan funding, the Kerala Startup Mission also provides knowledge and skill enhancement programs. These programs help in the development of knowledge and have a number of skill enhancement techniques.

5. What is the FAB LAB Program introduced by the Kerala Startup Mission?

Under the FAB LAB Program by the Kerala Startup Mission, state-of-the-art fabrication labs are provided to founders. This scheme encourages startups in printed electronics and related fields.

6. What are the grants available under the Innovation Grant scheme by KSUM?

The three grants available under the Innovation Grants scheme are: 1. Idea grant, 2. Product Grant, 3. Scale-Up Grant

7. Which activities does the Early Stage KSUM Seed Fund support?

The Early Stage KSUM Seed Fund supports the following activities: 1. Product development, 2. Testing, 3. Trials, 4. Test marketing, 5. Mentoring, 6. Consultancy, 7. IPR Issues, 8. Manpower management.

8. What are the eligibility criteria for the Early-Stage Equity Funding scheme?

The Early-Stage Equity Funding scheme has the following eligibility criteria: 1. Startups must be registered in Kerala, 2. Startups must be in the early stage, 3. Startups must have a product, 4. Startups must be technology-based from different sectors, 5. Startups must be from PAN India registered in Kerala.

9. What are the features of the Patent Support System?

The Patent Support System has the following features: 1. Provides grants to 50 student entrepreneurs in the state for securing a patent. 2. Provides interest subsidy for 5 years for loans from any bank for the commencement of a patent-based product. 3. Provides educational assistance up to Rs.3 lacs per year for postgraduate studies or research for 3 years.

10. In which cities are the offices of KSUM situated?

KSUM offices are situated in cities such as Trivandrum, Kochi, Calicut, and Kasargod in Kerala.
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