The other day, I was having a catchup with one of my friends from my Oracle days. He was casually asking me about how Zappyhire is doing and Kerala startup ecosystem in general. The discussion went on for some time and he was surprised with the kind of support that we are getting from the Kerala startup ecosystem and he was not aware of many of the things that were available here for the startups to avail.
I believe everyone interested in the Startup space should know what is in stock for them. I think it will be worth it.
Having worked outside Kerala for more than 15 years, choosing a location to start Zappyhire was a tough choice to make. But then, the deal breaker was the Kerala Startup Ecosystem — led by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). The kind of support given by KSUM is not just limited to a modern and state of the art co-working space, but also to mentoring, industry connects investor connects etc. Let’s go into the details:
Integrated Startup Complex (ISC) — KSUM, Cochin — Icing on the cake!
In September 2018, we started operations in NASSCOM 10000 Startup Warehouse with 3 people. After visiting the new facility by KSUM in Cochin, we didn’t think twice and it kind of proved that starting up in Cochin was a great decision and we moved to ISC in May 2019.
The ambience and facility that were provided by ISC were at par with any international facility. Conference Rooms, Amphitheatre, Breakout Areas, Calling Booths and anything that one can think of !
Plug n Play ! That was it.
Networking : Well Engaged Ecosystem
Though Kerala is a very small place to be in, it is extremely encouraging to see the vibrancy here. People talking about tech, meeting for various tech/ business sessions. Even in the time of the COVID 19, the same vibrancy is maintained, though virtually.
Zappyhire conducted its first hiring focused hackathon in the ISC with help from KSUM & IEEE in 2019.
Women Startup Summit, CanQuer, multiple Investor Café, Founders Meetings, Seeding Kerala (where Zappyhire closed its first round of funding from SmartSparks Angel Network) are just a few of them to mention.
It is OK to have doubts, there are always people out there to help you
It is always good to have questions and doubts. But what matters is whether you have the right people around you to support. In our experience, whenever we have gone to the KSUM staff for support, we have got some valid pointers — whether it be legal or accounting, they have always been there to support you. Even the camaraderie amongst the startups here are worth mentioning.
Another interesting initiative is K-Accelerator, a 3-month virtual accelerator program with a one-week residential program in Mumbai, designed specifically to give national-level exposure to startups who have started generating traction. We were lucky to be part of the last cohort and was an real enriching experience.
Connect — That’s what startups always look for !
Whether it is investors or clients, as a startup, you will always be in need. There will never be a time when you feel otherwise. Investor café is an opportunity for all the startups looking for funds to connect with VCs and angel investors. It is a one to one speed dating for selected startups to raise funds. Angel networks and VCs from across India will be available at Kochi on Wednesday, last week every month.
In a nutshell, Zappyhire in its journey from a 2-member team to the current 16 members, from just an idea to a handful of customers including an international customer, we take this opportunity to thank all the people who helped us enroute. NASSCOM, KSUM, our investors, customers and partners, the list goes on…