Startup Village expands to house 150 companies

Tags: News
Kochi-based Startup Village, India’s first incubator that is funded jointly by public and private sectors, is adding about 1.25 lakh sq ft space as part of the plan to house and support more startups.

The additional space, which will allow the Startup Village to house about 150 companies, is expected to be ready by June next year, according to its chief executive officer Pranav Kumar Suresh.

Currently it is operating from 15,00 sq ft space and is incubating 50 startups on the premises and 500 virtually, where the members use the Startup Village address for business communication.

On the revenue model, he said, “Incubators are yet to figure out a revenue model that will suit them.” The Village does not take equity in any of the company it is supporting as an incubator. It gets rent for providing space to startups. Typically a startup has three-four members and takes about 300 sq ft space.

The incubator, which is planning to add more revenues channels, would like to tap the CSR funding channel for sustaining the momentum. It is also looking at offering specific training modules for startups.

According to him, the companies being incubated get selected by default to make pitch to Startup Village Angel Fund. It now has a corpus of about Rs 80 lakh, mainly supported by the department of science and technology, he said. Efforts were on to increase the corpus to support more startups, he added.

The companies are helped with tax support services, IP services, and hosting, legal and accounting support from various players. They are eligible for service tax exemption for three years and up to Rs 50 lakh of revenue.

Suresh said incubator ecosystem was evolving in other states as well. Recently, a team from Andhra Pradesh visited the Startup Village for understanding of the model. Telangana also has announced plans to set up T-Hub.

“We are open to work with other states as partners to build the incubator network,” he said and added every state should have multiple incubators.

At any point of time, there will be funding requirement will as the companies evolve. “Access to funding is faster in the Silicon Valley and similar model has to evolve here,” he said.

“The young have a lot of tools to plan their entrepreneurial journey. Even if the venture fails to blossom, the learning will be immensely useful even if they go back to job fold,” he said adding that more freshers than before are open to taking up entrepreneurship to jobs.

krishnamohan@mydigitalfc.com

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