Kerala, known as one of the ten paradises of the world by National Geographic Traveler, is renowned for its breathtaking tourist destinations and ecotourism initiatives. Beyond its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the state's businesses have also earned global recognition.
With a literacy rate of 92.2%, Kerala has long been regarded as one of India's most educated and skilled states. Moreover, the state has successfully integrated schools, colleges, incubators, government institutions, and startups to establish a well-organized ecosystem.
To further enhance the startup ecosystem in the state, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has announced an invitation to startups, innovators, and entrepreneurs to apply for innovation grants under its Innovation Drive 2023 program.
The government agency is offering a range of financing grants ranging from Rs 3 lakh to upto Rs 30 lakh for startups and entrepreneurs, providing seed funding to help turn innovative ideas into technology products and commercialization.
Innovation Grants Open Year-round
Unlike in previous years, startups can now apply for innovation grants throughout the year as needed. KSUM has allocated grants in four categories: Idea Grant, Productization Grant, Market Acceleration Grant, and Scale-Up Grant. Additionally, startups can apply for the Startup Research Grant. Applications for these grants opened on May 1st, and interested parties can find more information at https://grants.startupmission.in/.
What is an Idea Grant?
The Idea Grant provides up to Rs 3 lakh for any innovator or entrepreneur with an innovative idea who is looking to develop a proof of concept or prototype. While having a registered startup is not mandatory, applicants must have both Startup Registration and KSUM Unique ID before processing for fund release.
What is Productization Grant?
Startups that are focused on product development and launch can apply for the Productization Grant, which provides up to Rs 7 lakh. The grant includes a special section for women and transgender founders, with an enhanced grant amount of Rs 12 lakhs. To be eligible for this section, women/transgender founders must have a majority stake of 51% in the company.
What is Market Acceleration Grant?
The Market Acceleration Grant, which offers Rs 10 lakh, is intended for startups that have a live product in the market and are looking to accelerate their revenue.
What is a Scale-Up Grant?
The Scale-Up Grant is designed to support startups for maximizing their revenue. To be eligible, startups should have a minimum steady revenue of Rs 10 lakh in the last six months or have raised an investment of not less than Rs 30 lakh. A scale-up startup is eligible for a grant amount of up to Rs 15 lakh.
What is Startup Research Grant?
The Startup Research Grant (R&D Grant) of Rs 30 lakh is open to highly promising deep tech startups in sectors like Health and Medtech, Hardware, Space tech, and Engineering with a working prototype and IP that needs to be developed into a final product through extensive R&D.
Expert Committee Selection Process to Shortlist the Startups
Applications that meet the eligibility criteria will be scrutinized by KSUM and an expert committee. The final selection will be based on the recommendation from the expert committee and approvals from the authorities.
During 2022-23, KSUM has sanctioned grant support of Rs 10 crore for 179 startups, which is the highest amount ever sanctioned by KSUM in a year. KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.