KSIDC to Provide Financial Aid to Startups in Malabar Region

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Kozhikode: Providing a big boost to aspiring young entrepreneurs in north Kerala, the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) will give financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 10 crore for seed funding and mezzanine financing to startups in Malabar.

As part of it, KSIDC has organised a one-day interactive programme titled ‘Start-up Kozhikode’ to provide a fillip to entrepreneurship culture among the youth, other day. About 125 persons from Kozhikode and Kannur districts took part in the programme that focused on startup funding, entrepreneurship, marketing, infrastructure availability, and mentoring. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. M Beena IAS, MD, KSIDC said the initiative would help build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in Malabar region. “Till now, the KSIDC has given credit to the tune of Rs. 9.26 crore to about 50 companies in the State. But the response from north Kerala had been lukewarm,” she said.

KSIDC officials said that as per the seed funding scheme, soft loans up to 90 per cent of the project cost or Rs. 25 lakh, whichever is lower, will be offered for innovative ideas and ventures for a period of one year at the prevailing RBI rate without any security. After one year, the company either takes necessary steps to convert the soft loan into equity capital or repay the soft loan with applicable interest rate. This apart, a sum of Rs.1 crore is given for mezzanine funding.KSIDC has already set up a business incubation centre having 5,000 sq. ft. space at the UL Cyber Park in Kozhikode for the purpose. Currently, 10 companies are functioning at the incubation centre.

Dr. Beena also said that the KSIDC had funded the Kochi-based startup, RecipeBook, which was selected by Google Launchpad Accelerator Programme at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco. It is a cookery app that lets users find dishes of different cuisines, and guides them on how to cook them. “The KSIDC also provides mentoring support and organises events in alliance with companies, including Microsoft. Also, an IPC cell had been set up in association with the Cochin University of Science and Technology to take up patent procedures for startups. We look not just at IT. Startups have lots of opportunities in non-IT sector, too,” she added.