Kerala budget has lined up a slew of growth-oriented measures to strengthen the State’s flourishing startup ecosystem by opening up vast opportunities for startups.

The Finance Minister K N Balagopal has allocated ₹90.52 crore to step up activities of the Kerala Startup Mission. Of this, ₹70. 52 crore is meant for various youth entrepreneurship development projects and ₹20 crore for setting up the Technology Innovation Zone at KINFRA Hi-Tech Park at Kochi.

Highlighting the success of the Fund of Funds scheme to accelerate startup investment, the budget made a provision of ₹20 crore for the scheme. An amount of ₹46.10 crore was made for the scheme previously, whose investment value has grown 3.9 times.

The budget also earmarked ₹10 crore for extending LEAP centres that will provide working space for small groups of IT professionals.

The proposal to convene an international AI conclave in July promises a big exposure to startups. Startups will also benefit from the proposal to hold a round table to prepare an action plan to make Kerala a robotic hub. Similarly, the proposal to assist entrepreneurs in digital entertainment including Animation, Visual effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) will open up a vast arena before the fledgling tech firms.

One of the notable prospects in the budget is the government’s nurturing and supporting attitude towards the escalating startup ecosystem in Kerala, said Jijimon Chandran, CEO and Founder, Acsia Technologies. A flourishing IT industry can contribute significantly to foreign investment and drive productivity gains across various sectors.

In the given scenario where Kerala is facing a brain drain, potentially depriving it of talent and expertise, an investment of ₹507 crore in the IT industry is a significant opportunity to reverse this trend and stimulate job growth domestically, he said.

The investments reserved for the IT industry, industrial parks, and the development of key IT infrastructure such as Technopark, Infopark, and Cyber Park are encouraging. These investments not only signify the government’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for technology-driven enterprises but also pave the way for further innovation and growth within the state, he added.