Five student entrepreneurs, incubating their companies at Startup Village here, will leave for Silicon Valley on a Kerala government sponsored trip for a two-week stay to get a first hand experience of the place,also known as the cradle of global technology revolution.
Arvind Sanjeev, Jibin Jose, Vijith Padmanabhan, Akash Mathew and Nithin George Charuvila, all aged 22 years, are the first winners of the annual SVSquare--an initiative to send 5 members student team from Startup Village to Silicon Valley, officially rolled out by Startup Village on January 30 this year.
The five were selected from nearly 1,270 applicants. They will leave for Silicon valley in the first half of November.
The state government will take care of all expenses of the trip.
The objective of the initiative is to provide the five students exposure of the renowned entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley and eventually enable them replicate the successes back home, Startup Village CEO Sijo Kuruvilla told reporters today.
The entrepreneurs will also get exposure to work culture in companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
Besides the Kerala government, SVSquare is supported by Asha Jadeja, a Silicon Valley 'super angel'. Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, Technopark, Vodafone, Intel and Amazon Web Services are partners of the project.
The first half of the programme will consist of site visits to some of the world's foremost technology product companies such as Google to experience their work culture and functioning, besides meeting some iconic tech entrepreneurs.
In the second week, the entrepreneurs will get one-to-one time with at least five select mentors in their field of activity, including venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, who had also started young, and would help them to take their companies global.
Akash Mathew, CEO and Co-Founder of CIED Technologies Pvt Ltd, founded his company when he was a B.Tech student at Rajagiri Engineering college here. He set up the company in July 2011 and worked on service projects and industrial automation products for over a year before launching a Facebook app called 'Crush', which has a user base across 121 countries.
Akash and his team are working to bring Crush to mobile platforms and are also in talks to raise investments.
Arvind Sanjeev, founder of ARS Devices, has applied for a patent for his latest innovation, RideSmart, an app enabling car owners keyless entry and remote control using a smartphone, while Jibin Jose set up a retail company which has developed a pioneering e-commerce application and is now in the process of raising investments.
Vijith Padamanabhan co-founded Dolojo Labs Pvt Ltd when he was just 19. It develops applications to help people connect and interact online, personally, socially and economically. Their first innovation is a solution for cloud bookmarking, the first version of which is likely to come out next month.
Nithin Geroge Charuvila is the co-founder and CEO of QPlay Tech Pvt Ltd, which was chosen as one of the top five campus startups.
As part of SV Square (Startup Village to Silicon Valley) competition, the applicants were required to upload on YouTube, a 2-3 minutes video on their innovative projects and ideas.
An eminent jury chaired by Prof Anil Gupta of IIM Ahmedabad, representing academia and former NASSCOM President Kiran Karnik, representing the industry, selected the winners.
The Startup Village is India's first Public Private Partnership (PPP) telecom business incubator.