Thiruvananthapuram: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has signed agreements for providing grants to four startups nurtured by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) at Technopark in the state capital on Monday, under the ‘Project Ankur’, scheme of the public sector giant. The agreements were signed in the presence of Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM.
“Project Ankur” aims at developing a supportive ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurship nationwide by backing innovative ideas and concepts that have the potential to grow into startups.
The start-ups to benefit from the scheme are Gen Robotics, Sastra Robotics, Waferchips and Nava Design.
Under the scheme, BPCL will support projects aimed at establishing innovative technology and business process re-engineering ideas with significant business potential, social relevance and focussed on environment-protection.
The BPCL will support them in pursuing their promising re-engineering ideas to the stage of validated Proof of Concept (PoC) by way of funding of the incubation ecosystem and intellectual mentoring. It would also help the acceleration, post PoC, and provide a suitable environment for their commercialisation, if found necessary.
Besides the financial aid, mentor support and specific technical assistance in terms of guidance or testing on need-basis will be given by BPCL. Funding will be provided over a period of 36 months in installments against agreed/accepted milestones.
Gen Robotics has developed a robot called Bandicoot for cleaning manholes. Sastra Robotics makes industrial robotic manipulators while NAVA Design has developed a machine for coconut farmers to tap neera. Waferchips is active in making microchips that can be used in home automation and healthcare fields.
The KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the State.