Kerala Startup Mission

Written By Gautham Krishna   | Published on June 15, 2019

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The Government of Kerala launched the Kerala Startup Mission for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in Kerala. The government of Kerala initiated the startup movement through Kerala Startup Mission by forging and implementing forward-looking policies for creating a vibrant startup ecosystem in the state primarily to foster the growth of innovation lead technology entrepreneurship.

Objectives of Kerala Startup Mission

  • To create awareness for being an entrepreneur

  • To initiate activities that touch every youngster from academia to an entrepreneur

  • To improve the technical knowledge of the youngsters which progressively changes the outlook of youngsters to create innovative projects/startups

  • To increase the intensity of Research and Development being undertaken.

  • To Stimulate climate and cultural innovation

  • To commercialise the technology

  • For fostering the growth of an entrepreneurial ecosystem

  • For reducing the entry barriers

  • To create innovation infrastructures such as technology transfer labs, science hubs and business incubators

  • To encourage the uptake of strategic technologies among SMEs

  • To improve access to pre-commercialization funding

  • To provide tax incentives such as R&D tax credits and favourable capital cost allowance

  • To promote traditional industries using new techniques

Eligibility Criteria

Any startup looking for incubation and assistance under the Kerala startup mission should meet the following eligibility criteria. 

  • Startups registered before seven years or Biotechnology Startups registered not before ten years is not eligible.

  • Startup's annual turnover should not exceed Rs.25 Crore in any preceding financial year,

  • The startup should be focused on innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services,

  • A scalable business model with a high potential for employment generation or wealth creation.

  • Startups will be eligible for tax benefits only after it has obtained certification from the Inter-Ministerial Board, set up for such purpose.

  • Kerala Startup Mission will give membership to the companies who are registered within the State

  • KSUM also provide pre-incubation facilities to startups who are in the ideation stage

Kerala Startup Schemes

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has been actively initiating various programmes for developing student Entrepreneurship in the State. The government of Kerala declared the 'start-up policy' intending to accelerate the growth of student Entrepreneurs. KSUM being the nodal agency for implementing the Startup policy has come up with various schemes for the effective implementation of the policy. The schemes cover all broad areas from schools, colleges young entrepreneurs. The policy defines Incubator as Technology Business Incubator recognized either by the Central or State Government while ’Start Up’ as innovation-based technology firm registered under the Companies Act and within 3 years of incorporation.  The start-up schemes cover all broad areas from schools, colleges and young entrepreneurs. 

  • Incubation / Acceleration Scheme

  • Knowledge/ Skill Enhancement Schemes

  • Funding Schemes

  • Exchanges and Global Immersion Schemes

Incubation / Acceleration Scheme

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in partnership with Global Incubators & Accelerators, launched its new structured incubation program designed to provide a springboard to budding entrepreneurs in building scalable technology products and solutions. The new Incubation Program is ongoing in Trivandrum, Kochi and Calicut and is life at Kasargod. The startup founders can easily access the Sector Experts & Business Mentors, Tailor-made workshops, Industry and Investor networks of KSUM circles and are eligible for a variety of state and central Govt. schemes and grants.

Startups will also go through a stage based structured 3-month program.

  • Idea Acceleration: Idea To Concept

  • Product Acceleration: Concept To Launch

  • Market Acceleration: Launch To Revenue

Entrepreneur Support Services

Support for services to startups in legal & statutory compliances

  • Secretarial Services (Company Incorporation and filing)

  • Annual Accounts Preparation

  • Preparation of Audited statements (Utilisation Certificate & Statement of Expenditure)

  • Taxation Services (Registration/ Filing/Updations)

  • EXIM/TAN/PAN/SEZ services

  • Financial Plan & Projections

  • Legal, IP & Client Agreements

  • Patent, Trademarks & Copyrights

  • Business Valuation & Investment Pattern

  • Notary Services

Marketing support to startups

Under this component, startups shall be supported for the following activities: 

  • Digital/ Print Media Branding & Promotions

  • Product Launch Coverage

  • Corporate /Product Promo Video Production

  • PR Activities including advertisements for products/startup story

  • Digital Marketing Consultation/ Agency Charges, DM Tools & Analytics Platform subscription

  • Access or Subscription to Digital Marketing Tools -Email/Social Media Content Marketing/Insights & Analytics/ SEO

  • Digital Marketing- AR/VR experiencing Platforms

Support for R & D connect

This support will be leveraged for those startups who are developing technology innovations/products and those who are in the R & D stage. This is one-time assistance given to hardware (electronic and other hardware) manufacturing startups that have substantial R&D components.

The grant will be given to startups under the following conditions 

  • They should have a working prototype of a product

  • The product should have substantial hardware components such that at least 50% of the cost will be for the hardware

  • The Startup must be a member of one of the approved incubators in the State

  • The grant can be used for sourcing hardware components, technology transfer, testing, testing platform creation etc. The grant cannot be used for meeting the manpower cost. The applicant shall give a clear business plan justifying the use of funds. If the fund is used for marketing expenses, such expenses cannot exceed 20% of the grant amount

  • The startups who are scaling up a product or who are working on a product that has obtained a patent will be given preference.

Mentorship/Connect Programmes

The Mentorship/Connect Programme is an extension of the Startup Leadership Academy & Training Programme, where the startups may be nurtured by renowned mentors of national/international standards. The program also proposes to get the startups exposed to global markets/institutions.

Knowledge/ Skill Enhancement Scheme

Future Technologies Lab is an initiative by Kerala Startup Mission to provide necessary tools, equipment and infrastructure for the Research & Development of emerging technologies and serves as a platform to introduce them to startups and students.

Thrust Areas

The current key focus areas for Innovation and Research at Future Technologies Lab are:

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  3. Robotics

  4. Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)


The FABLAB programme involves setting up state-of-the-art Fabrication laboratories in the state to encourage startups in printed electronics and other such fields. KSM has associated with the Centre for Bits and Atoms, MIT Fab Lab Foundation, the USA for this. The fablabs being established in Trivandrum and Ernakulam are identical and mainly comprises of the following inventories.

  • Laser Cutter

  • Large Scale CNC Mill: Shopbot

  • 3D printers: Dimension SST 3D printer and Ultimaker 2

  • High-Resolution Mini NC Mill: Modela

  • Vinyl Plotter

  • Sand Blaster

  • Electronic Components and Tools

  • Molding and Casting

  • Electronics Test Equipments

  • Computers

Funding Schemes

Innovation Grant Scheme

Technological changes through innovations and R&D has been the main driving force for increased productivity, economic growth, and social transformation and for reshaping and redefining every sphere of our lives. Hence innovations are being extensively promoted globally. With regards to it, Govt. of Kerala has introduced the Innovation Grant scheme.

Applications for this scheme are invited through Idea Day event, which is conducted by Kerala Startup Mission, every month. Idea Day is an event where applicants will pitch their ideas in front of an elite panel for evaluation. The ‘ideas’ that are shortlisted will get seed funding up to 12 lakhs. 

The following types of Innovation Grants are given to encourage innovations: 

  • Idea Grant- Idea Grant will be primarily for Students for conversion of prototype to MVP and is limited to Rs. 2 lakhs/idea

  • Productisation Grant- Productization grant is to convert the MVP into a product and is limited to a maximum of Rs. 7 lakhs/idea.

  • Scaleup Grant – It helps startups with product revenue/investments to  scale their business to the next level, and is limited to a maximum of Rs. 12 lakhs/idea

Early-stage KSUM Seed Fund

Govt. of Kerala has introduced the Seed Support scheme to provide financial assistance to startups to foster the formation and development of innovative, technology-based business enterprises that will stimulate the economy of the State of Kerala through venture creations, increased employment and leveraging of private investment. This scheme is implemented through Kerala Startup Mission, which is the nodal agency of Govt. of Kerala for startup related activities and schemes.

The Seed Support System primarily supports the startups on the following: 

  • Product Development

  • Testing & Trials

  • Test Marketing

  • Mentoring

  • Professional consultancy (To attract professionals from leading industrial organisations and academicians from reputed educational institutions to work with small firms)

  • IPR Issues

  • Manpower for day to day operations 

Early-stage Equity Funding

KSUM is partnering with SEBI accredited Venture Capital Funds for the creation of a corpus fund for supporting the emerging startups in the state. The Funds shall be investing in early-stage startups with a ticket size of Rs. 25 lakhs – Rs. 200 lakhs.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Startups who are registered in Kerala

  • Startups who are at an early stage/who have a product & tracxn

  • Technology-based products startup from different sectors

  • Startups from PAN India & who are ready to reregister in Kerala

Patent Support System

During the budget speech of FY 2015-16, Govt. of Kerala has proposed a new scheme called the Patent Support Scheme, in which support is provided to student entrepreneurs who can secure a patent.

Exchanges and Global Immersion Schemes

The International Entrepreneurship Exchange Programme is a combination of schemes aimed at giving the students and young Entrepreneurs of the State maximum exposure to the international startup ecosystems and also to foster cooperation between startup ecosystems across the world.

The programme involves taking student/young entrepreneurs to the most advanced/mature startup destinations, such as Silicon Valley, Menlopark, USA, London, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, etc for an exchange programme where they interact with the startups/clients in that ecosystem. This will enhance marketing/funding opportunities for the local startups and also give international exposure to their products.

Apply Online in Kerala Startup Mission

Follow the below steps to register in KSUM.

kerala startup mission ksum apply online

  • After that click on the apply link which applies to you. You need to be a registered user to access the facilities of the Kerala Startup Mission. If you want to register your startup, click on "Register" for Startups

kerala startup mission ksum apply online startup registration

  • Select your startup type and click on the Register option.

kerala startup mission ksum apply online register startup

  • The start-up registration page will be displayed. Provide details of First name, last name, email ID and mobile number.

kerala startup mission ksum apply online registration

  • Once registered, the applicant will then get access to all the major events in the Kerala ecosystem and also get access to apply for various schemes for startups like incubation, seed fund, startup box, patent reimbursement etc. as shown on the left side of the screen under the Application tab.

kerala startup mission ksum apply online fablab idea day


What are some common queries related to Kerala Startup Mission?
You can find a list of common Kerala Startup Mission queries and their answer in the link below.
Kerala Startup Mission queries and its answers
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