Start-up Centre

kerala university

Kerala University Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (KUBIIC)

The University of Kerala (UoK) started its experiments with entrepreneurship during 2006 when it established an Industry Incubation Centre (IIC) and successfully incubated a student start-up – SooryaKiran Bioinformatics Pvt. Ltd. The University has re-established the IIC as “Kerala University Technology and Business Start-up Centre (KU-TBSC)” and is incubating new student start-ups.

During June 2016, the first round of call for applications was done and the start-up proposals submitted were evaluated by an executive committee appointed by the University. Four student start-ups applied and were approved by the executive committee. They were 'SUKRITI', a skin and hair product testing venture, 'Pegasus Events', an event management company, 'Rihla Malabar Arab Travel Solutions', a travel management company for Arabic clients, and, 'Massive Data (MaD) Analytics', a big data analytics company.

MaD Analytics and Pegasus Events have signed the MoU with the University during 2016. MaD Analytics is fully functional with projects in the areas of genomics, consultancy works and training workshop for the last 3 years. However, Pegasu Events did not take off well. The remaining two start-ups were held up due to technical difficulties.

The second round of call for applications was done during July, 2017. There was a 125% increase in the number of applications received. Eight student start-ups in a diverse number of fields applied and were evaluated and approved by the executive committee. They are DNA's Biocules, a digital service provider for biologists, Waggle Lab, a research start-up focusing on futurist technologies, MakLab India, a start-up to teach programming to school students, Dextro Systems, a technology related start-up focusing on open-source technologies, Biovent, a biotechnology start-up, Ayurbiotech, a start-up connecting Ayurveda and technology, Frink Labs, a IoT based start-up, and Honeyhill Butterfly Gardens, a start-up that will set-up butterfly gardens in schools and offices.

Biovent founded in 2017 by academic entrepreneurs from Biotechnology and Microbiology, focuses on high quality analytical service in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, as well as other streams of life science, innovation outcomes in terms of society beneficial research or interventions, develop technologies useful to Biomedical research, learning collaborations, patents and other beneficial knowledge outputs. Apart from Biovent, there are only a handful.

During January 2019, KU-TBSC in association with Kerala Start up mission (KSUM) conducted the first Idea Day on 25th April 2019. In order to orchestrate a competition exclusively for innovators from Kerala University departments, officials from KU-TBSC and IQAC held discussions with the CEO of Kerala Start up Mission (KSUM) and came out with a blue print to initiate a campaign for popularising the IDEA DAY 2019. The kick off of the initiative started during middle of January 2019 by circulating the brochure in the University Departments. Online submissions of applications through google form were encouraged to collect relevant information of the innovators/teams as stipulated by the KSUM. Important information about the competition that includes how to pitch an idea, how to conduct the technical feasibility and commercial viability studies, etc., were shared to a gathering of students and mentors from various departments of the University. Submissions were open from February 10 to February 23, 2019, and 6 applications were received. The date was further extended to March 10 based on the suggestion of KSUM and personal visits were made to science departments in a bid to increase the awareness amongst faculty about the need to promote entrepreneurship amongst student community. Altogether, 21 idea submissions were received by the time the competition was held during April 25, 2019. Thus due to the sustained efforts of the KU-TBSC team, there was an increase from 8 to 21 applications, signaling a quantum increase of 260%, that indicates the increased willingness of students to take entrepreneurship as a career option.

Categorisation of the ideas into various domains according to their nature and application was done. The domains were Agri-tech, Deep Technology comprising of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Language, Virtual Reality and Block Chain, Health and Medical Technologies. A panel of experts were formed with eminent faculty members from various departments of University of Kerala, scientists from prominent research and education centres such as SCTIMST, IIITMK, etc. as technical experts and KSUM officials along with professors from departments such as Commerce, Management as business feasibility experts. The final results are still awaited.

As part of efforts to reach each and every student in the Campus, and to sustain motivation, KU-TBSC hosted the “incubator yatra” conceived by KSUM on 27th June 2019 to connect incubators, co-working spaces and to have a one on one interaction with the KSUM officials. The sessions were well attended and students were able to clarify their queries instantly.

KU-TBSC is taking renewed interest in providing the students with all necessary support and guidance with a goal of creating one hundred startups by the end of the current academic year.

Efforts from KU-TBSC are being taken on a mission mode to

  1. invite decision making bureaucrats for talks to the student community
  2. conducting mentoring sessions for the young entrepreneurs
  3. earmark Rs. twenty lakhs as budgetary provision for the current year
  4. provide seed money for the best performing start-ups
  5. arrange discussions with fund providers at governmental level as well as angel investors
  6. providing legal assistance and expertise
  7. conducting experience sharing sessions with successful entrepreneurs
  8. efficient management of intellectual properties and conversion of conceived innovations to successful products
  9. and organized efforts to nurture the output of startups as commercially viable technovations.