I still receive a lot of queries related to Startup Village
And hence this post
Startup Village does not exist anymore
Atleast not in the way that most people knew of Startup Village and certainly not in the way that people came to know about it as a result of my association with the organisation
Yes, I was leading Startup Village in its initial founding years as its CEO. I then moved out of the CEO role in June 2014 after completion of the first phase of the project. (June 2014 was also when Startup Village saw its last community gathering)
Subsequent to that the organisation decided to change course and in Dec 2015, ceased operations.
Now there is SV.CO and Kerala Startup Mission (KSM).
And no, Startup Mission and Startup Village are not the same
And SV.CO is an entirely different project altogether
And around the time that Startup Village started, neither of these two initiatives existed.
Now let me provide you with some background context to help you understand better.
One of the significant impacts Startup Village brought about was in the sphere of policy. As a result, the state today has a comprehensive technology startup policy and a sizeable budget committed to the sector. One of our key recommendations was that there should be an agency entrusted with implementation of the policy. Hence it was decided by the Government to entrust this to Technopark Business Incubator (T-TBI), which was then later rechristened to Kerala Startup Mission to reflect the new mandate. Startup Mission is presently the nodal agency of the state for implementation of Startup policy.
While this happened, MobME, the host institute of Startup Village (of which I also happen to be a cofounder), decided to pursue a business opportunity in the startup sector which also led to the decision to cease operations of the non profit — and thus the for profit initiative SV.CO was born in March 2016. After ceasing of operations of the non profit, the brand name Startup Village was subsequently licensed by SV.CO (Also, the startupvillage.in domain now redirects to SV.CO)
SV.CO is now being headed by my good friend & colleague Sanjay. An entirely new team has been put together and they now operate out of Bangalore.
In the brief period of transition from Startup Village to SV.CO and while Startup Mission was being built out, Startup Village served as the Knowledge partner to Startup Mission — and all those projects of government that were run in partnership with Startup Village were transitioned fully to Startup Mission in this period. Given that there still were startups in the physical incubation program when Startup Village ceased operations, Startup Mission decided to extend their physical incubation program to Cochin as well making use of the premises that were previously allotted to Startup Village. Startups that were part of the physical incubation program at Startup Village when it ceased operations were also extended direct entry by Startup Mission to their incubation program.
So that should help you differentiate between the 3 initiatives and help you decide which organisation you need to look at reaching out to according to your requirement. (Startup Village has ceased operations and as of now exists only in paper so the question of reaching out to it is moot)
As for me, I am presently engaged with the conceptualisation and building of another non profit initiative, Rethink
- The non profit entity that I used to head, Startup Village, was a registered not for profit society and its registered name was ITIH — TBI (India Telecom Innovation Hub — Technology Business Incubator). While the organisation has ceased operations, the entity continues to exist still
- Whenever I mention Startup Village, I refer to the non profit initiative