Sijo Kuruvilla George is the Founding CEO of Startup Village. Sijo provided vision and leadership for setting up country's first PPP (Public Private Partnership) Technology Business Incubator (TBI). Under his leadership, Startup Village, in a span of 3 years, grew from its inception in 2012 to being regarded as one of the best startup destinations in the country and also the best TBI award by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
During his tenure at Startup Village, Sijo was instrumental in conceptualisation and advocacy of the Student Entrepreneurship Policy in the state of Kerala, a first of its kind in the country. He is presently a consultant to Kerala Startup Mission, a government body that is the nodal agency for implementing the Kerala Technology Startup Policy. Sijo was also the person who led the Fellows of the SVSquare delegation to Silicon Valley. SVSquare was a flagship program of Government of Kerala in association with Startup Village that offered 5 promising student entrepreneurs from the state an all expense paid trip to Silicon Valley.
In recognition of his contributions to society, he was invited to the first cohort of Rajeev Circle Fellowships by Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation and the International Visitor Leadership Forum (IVLP), prestigious professional exchange program of the Department of State, USA. Sijo is a speaker at various forums in the country and his works have been extensively covered by the press & media. He is also often quoted and cited in various publications across the country. Malayala Manorama, the leading Malayalam newspaper brand in Kerala, referred to him as the “Megamind behind the treasure trove in Cochin”. He also writes for Mathrubhumi as a columnist, another major Malayalam news daily. He also maintains a blog in which he chronicles his thoughts and other writings.
Sijo serves as mentor & advisor to several startups. He also serves on the board of some of these organisations. Startups he serves as mentor & advisor include Flip Technologies, Sastra Robotics, iTraveller, Agrima, Riafy, DIYHacking. Sijo is also a member of the Board of CITTIC, a society for innovation and entrepreneurship development and also the Board of Studies in Technology and Management of Cochin University (CUSAT)
Sijo is also the Cofounder of MobME, a technology startup in the telecom domain. What started out as a humble player in the Indian mobile VAS space is today a company that is valued at over 200 crores. An incubatee company of Technopark TBI, MobME was the recipient of the most innovative IT company award by NASSCOM during its initial years. Sijo oversaw the business development activities of the organisation and was also instrumental in attracting angel investments to the tune of half a million dollars.
Sijo also brings along with him management consulting experience with PWC & Deloitte. During his consulting tenue he has worked with organisations like DFID, World Bank and departments of several governments like Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu. Sijo also serves as advisor & consultant to several organisations. Organisations which he has served as consultant or advisor include KITCO, LetsVenture, ABI.
Sijo has held leadership roles and elected offices of power throughout his student life. He is cited in the list of accomplished alumni of all his alma mater institutions. Sijo was also active in sports during his college & school days. He was a University basketball player during his college days. As a cricket player, he has represented his district until the Under 19 team. He has also served in the NCC during his high school days. He was also active in the arts, representing his school at various levels in dramatics, extempore & debates.
An ardent board game lover, Sijo is the proud owner of a curated collection of board games. An avid reader of books, some of Sijo’s favourite titles include Abundance by Peter Diamandis, Leadership on the line by Marty Linksy & Ronald Heifetz, Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, Rethinking Money by Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne, Art of Learning by Joshua Waitzkin, Whats mine is yours by Rachel Botsman & Roo Rogers, Managing with Power by Jeffrey Pfeffer, Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin, Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirkey
Sijo is passionate about technology & entrepreneurship. He works towards the democratization of opportunities in these spaces and associated capacity building initiatives. Sijo’s interests lie at the intersection of technology, governance and policy advocacy.