Kannur is a small town located in the North of Kerala. It has a rich legacy of creating many political leaders of most prominent political parties who came to the leadership of the state including four Chief Ministers of Kerala and the first leader of the opposition in the LokSabha, India. People of Kannur have been very passionate about their beliefs and values. The first Industry belt in Kerala came up in Valapattanam, pioneered by the legendary industrialist Mr. Samuel Aaron during the independence era. Subsequently Mr. AK KhadarKutty started the largest plywood factory in Asia and Mr KPP Nambiar pioneered the creation of KELTRON – the first decentralized electronic manufacturing movement in India. Handloom furnishings from Kannur found place in Buckingham Palace and the White House due to their exquisiteness. Kerala Clays and Ceramics Private Limited (KCCPL), is one of the oldest PSU’s of Kerala, which was the brainchild of Shri Samuel Aaron. KCCPL established their presence in the ceramic mining industry in the nation in the last few decades. Kannur and Malabar is also fast emerging as an alternate tourist destination within Kerala, with the recent opening of a modern international airport in Kannur in December 2018.
Many traditional industries in Kerala and particularly Kannur are withering due to not keeping in pace with disruptive innovation happening around. In order to regain the lost glory of Kannur, a group of people of Kannur origin, who had become successful entrepreneurs outside Kerala, started to debate on how to address this issue. They have concluded that creating startup entrepreneurs, who are the job creators of the 21stcentury is a powerful strategy for bringing local economic prosperity and cutting edge jobs back to the North Malabar area. Moreover the “state of the art “ International Airport recently inaugurated in Kannur shall provide a rapid boost and synergy by facilitating mobility of start up professionals from across the globe to the proposed ecosystem. This thought process resulted in the genesis of the concept of a rural startup ecosystem Malabar Innovation Zone (MiZone).
As a part of strategic diversification KCCPL has teamed up with MiZone the industry expert group and is setting up a technology incubator, which can seat around 300 entrepreneurs in Dharmasala Kannur. The capital expense for setting up the facility has been provided by a grant from Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) to KCCPL, the land and the building are owned by KCCPL while MiZone shall generate the necessary operational expenditure and operate this incubator .