Innovation Capital: Tharoor's $50M Plea from HNIs for Kerala's Startups

Congress MP Shahsi Tharoor propels Kerala's start-up scene, urging 50 HNIs to invest $1 million each, creating an innovative fund. He envisions a collaborative push, catalyzing Kerala's emergence as a tech powerhouse. Read on the full article for details.

Swati Dayal
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The 50 High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) from Kerala or outside Kerala interested in contributing to the state's growth, have been urged to invest a substantial $1 million each, as pooling resources to create an investment corpus aimed at catalyzing the growth of Kerala's burgeoning start-up ecosystem. This bold initiative, unveiled in the vibrant city of Thiruvananthapuram, seeks to overcome the perennial challenges faced by nascent enterprises and positions the region as a formidable player in India's ever-evolving technological landscape.

Shashi Tharoor, the Congress Member of Parliament representing Trivandrum, has proposed a groundbreaking initiative to fuel Kerala's burgeoning start-up ecosystem. Speaking at the Huddle Global 2023, a start-up conclave organized by the Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM) at Adimalathura in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor emphasized the need for significant investments from high net worth individuals (HNIs).

The Call for Collective Investment

Tharoor urged 50 HNIs, either from Kerala or those interested in contributing to the state's growth, to invest $1 million each. The goal is to create a substantial investment corpus specifically dedicated to supporting and nurturing start-ups in Kerala. Highlighting the common challenge faced by emerging enterprises in securing funding, Tharoor expressed optimism that this initiative could provide a solution to one of the critical hurdles hindering the start-up ecosystem's growth.

"We (the government) will take this forward, and with this, one may gain far more than the invested amount," Tharoor affirmed, underlining the potential returns and benefits of such collective investment for both investors and the start-ups.

Thiruvananthapuram’s Ascendancy in the Tech Landscape

In his address, Tharoor accentuated the significance of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital city, in the tech domain. Citing the city's historical role as the host of India's first tech park in 1991, he argued that Thiruvananthapuram is positioned as a hub for future technological advancements.

Tharoor asserted that Thiruvananthapuram has been steadily developing and growing. He declared, "Thiruvanathapuram is back with vengeance, and this is our coming-of-age party. We will again be pioneers."

India's Start-up Landscape and Global Potential

Acknowledging the vibrancy of India's start-up ecosystem with notable hubs like Bengaluru (the Silicon Valley of India) and the Powai Valley in Mumbai, Tharoor praised the innovation emanating from the country. From companies like Oyo to Ola, Indian start-ups are making strides and have the potential to achieve global recognition, he affirmed.

Huddle Global 2023: Uniting Stakeholders for Innovation

Huddle Global 2023, a three-day event organized by KSUM, serves as a pivotal platform bringing together diverse stakeholders. Located at Adimalathura near Vizhinjam, the event boasts the participation of around 15,000 delegates from within the country and abroad. It showcases products and innovations from emerging sectors such as robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, life sciences, space tech, and blockchain, among others.

Tharoor's call for collaborative investment reflects a visionary approach to address the challenges faced by start-ups. By encouraging HNIs to contribute to a dedicated investment corpus, Tharoor aims to catalyze the growth of Kerala's start-up ecosystem, positioning Thiruvananthapuram as a key player in India's technological landscape. The ongoing Huddle Global 2023 event further underscores the commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration within the start-up community.

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