BlackBerry put plans for Startup Village in Kochi on hold

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Since John Chen took the reins at BlackBerry, one of his major priorities was cost-cutting. Many areas are being affected by this, not only within BlackBerry but other places as well. One of those is the Startup Village in Kochi. BlackBerry was reportedly due to announce funding grants for startups located there, but it has put all plans on hold.

The discussions, underway for over a year, were to have resulted in announcements last November.

“The plan is still under wraps. We’re working on it at the moment and do not have a time line yet,” said Annie Matthew, a director of Alliances and Business Development at BlackBerry India and a board member of Startup Village in Kochi.

BlackBerry had set up Rubus Labs, an open co-working space in Startup Village and BlackBerry’s first innovation lab in the Asia Pacific region, to give entrepreneurs early access to its technology. App makers can make use of devices, technical and marketing support to build apps on the BlackBerry platform here.

Since May 2012, when the initiative was launched, 300 developers have worked on the company’s technology platform, resulting in 150 mobile apps.

At present, BlackBerry provides developers with access to BlackBerry Partners, which is run by an outside entity and is meant to fund companies which are building on the BlackBerry platform.

“We have not set up a fund. What we have said is that we will partner in terms of training, go-to market and device support,” said Matthew.

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