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KSUM’s Huddle Global 2023 To Bring Together Founders, Investors To Boost Local Startup Ecosystem

The Kerala Startup Mission, backed by the state government, will host the fifth edition of its startup networking event, Huddle Global, from November 16-18 in Thiruvananthapuram

The event will host roundtable discussions, pitching sessions, networking programmes, among others, to help early stage startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs

The event will be attended by global and Indian leaders, including Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Shashi Tharoor, global ambassadors and startup founders like Kuku FM’s Lal Chand Bisu

Kerala has created a vibrant startup ecosystem over the years, with the state now boasting more than 4,000 startups. These startups have flourished in the state as educational institutions, government initiatives like the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), and startups have worked together to drive innovation and entrepreneurship. 

The increase in the number of startups in the state has also grabbed investors’ attention, with Kerala-based startups attracting $551 Mn in venture capital through 110 funding deals between 2016 to 2022. 

Now, in order to further bolster the state’s startup ecosystem, the KSUM, which is backed by the Kerala government, is hosting the fifth edition of its beach startup festival, Huddle Global, from November 16-18, 2023 in Thiruvananthapuram.

The event will bring together industry leaders, high-net-worth individuals (HNIs), government officials and innovative startup founders under one roof for networking, collaborations, pitching sessions to raise funding amid the ongoing funding winter, among others.

The KSUM is the Kerala government’s nodal agency for promoting entrepreneurship and incubation activities and intends to create opportunities for startups to secure financial and technical support.  

Commenting on the event, Anoop Ambika, CEO of KSUM, said, “Huddle Global 2023 will facilitate entrepreneurship and explore avenues for startups to achieve unprecedented growth and speed.”

About 15,000 attendees, including 5,000 startup founders, 400 HNIs, 300 mentors, 200 corporates and 150 speakers, are expected to attend the event, which will promote collaborations and partnerships in areas like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), fintech, life sciences, spacetech, healthtech, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), egovernance, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), among others.

The event’s programme includes a startup expo for founders to showcase their products and services, corporate and investor-led masterclasses and workshops, a coding programme, pitching sessions, roundtable discussions, investor meetups, and opportunities to get mentored by industry leaders.

Industry leaders and government dignitaries like PA Mohammed Riyas, minister for public works department and tourism, Kerala; Shashi Tharoor, MP; Rathan U Kelkar, secretary, electronics and IT, Kerala;  Federico Salas Lotfe, ambassador of Mexico to India; Achim Burkart, consul general, consulate general of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bengaluru; Hans-Joerg Hoertnagl, commercial counsellor and trade commissioner, Advantage Austria; Ajai Chowdhry, cofounder of HCL; Lal Chand Bisu, cofounder and CEO of Kuku FM; Sneha Rachel Mathew, strategy and operations at Google, among others, will be present during the event. 

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan will also be attending the event, as per information available on Huddle Global’s website. 

The leaders will give keynote sessions, hold leadership talks and discuss technology. Bringing in a global perspective will be international embassies who will hold conversations with industry experts, investors, venture capitalists and corporate leaders. 

These industry leaders will delve deep into understanding products, services, design, marketing strategies, capital structuring, fundraising and business development and decode the learning to the budding startup founders. 

Additionally, startup founders will get an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors and coders from Kerala will get to showcase their coding skills that could hold the potential to solve tech challenges.

Huddle Global 2023 is supported by Startup India, Headstart, TiE Kerala, GTech, Startup Middle East, Habitat for Humanity and Technopark Today.

The fourth edition of the event, held in 2022, witnessed the participation of 3,000 startups, 200 mentors, 100 corporates, 80 speakers, 70 investors and 50 exhibitions. Industry leaders and government dignitaries like Mohit Gupta, cofounder of Spinny; K M Abraham, chief principal secretary to the chief minister of Kerala; Prateek Maheshwari, cofounder of PhysicsWallah; Sairee Chahal, CEO & founder of SHEROES and Mahila Money participated in the event.

Now, let’s take a look at the key highlights of Huddle Global 2023.

  • Marketing Insights, a session on marketing, will decode the cost-effective marketing tools and techniques to early stage startup founders to help them boost the market presence and brand recognition of their startups.
  • Founders Meet will unite successful startup founders and entrepreneurs for collaborative discussion and to create a community of entrepreneurs.
  • Kerala Top 100 Coders will throw a spotlight on top coders in the state, facilitating connections with startups and industry leaders to bring Kerala’s tech talent to the global forefront.
  • ‘Impact 50’, a startup showcase, will give them an opportunity to present their products and services to potential investors.
  • Pitch It Right will equip startups with essential knowledge of investor expectations for pitches, covering topics like team dynamics, problem statements, product development, market strategy, financials, revenue models, target audience and pricing.
  • Tigers’ Claw will provide a platform for investors to evaluate startup pitches with a benchmark scorecard.
  • Close the Deal will facilitate connections between startups and corporate entities/governments for potential funding opportunities. 

Events like Global Huddle have been instrumental in making Kerala a thriving startup landscape. In 2023, 652 new startups were registered in the state, with Ernakulam leading with 180 new startups, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 71. Going ahead, this growth, with support from initiatives like KSUM, will contribute significantly to driving India’s economic growth.

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