karnataka

The Karnataka government has funded 61 startups across sectors in the last four months, claims Priyank Kharge, Karnataka minister of IT, biotechnology and tourism.

“We are (sector) agnostic, we go by the idea,” Kharge said while addressing the Open House organised by The Economic Times with the Karnataka government at WeWork Galaxy. “In the last four months, we have funded 61 companies. My startup policy allows me to fund anything from aerospace to agriculture.” The Open House, which was jam packed with entrepreneurs from across sectors, was held as a run-up to the Startup Awards, which are due to take place on August 18.

The minister was at his eloquent best as he fielded a variety of questions ranging from the state’s startup policies, tourism, e-governance to his success mantra. The government’s recent startup initiative, ELEVATE 100, which aims to discover the 100 most innovative startups from across the state, is also gathering steam. Kharge’s team is scouting startups from all over the state. “It has been a very tiring 15 days for my team who have been moving to all destinations, curating startups.Selected startups will get to present to a grand jury. The idea is to identify 100 most innovative companies to take them to the next level,” he said.


The state government is also running Idea2POC, part of the multi-sector Startup Policy launched by it in 2015, and being implemented by Karnataka Biotechnology and Infor mation Technology Services (KBITS). In March this year, the state govt has even funded eight tourism startups under the same scheme.

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Earlier in June, the state government’s Startup Cell has also granted Rs 3.18 crore grant to 12 Startups working in varied segment like Agritech, Biotech, Security, Robotics & Communications

The state government has also allocated Rs 10 Crore for agri innovation startups based out of Karnataka.

Kharge also pointed out to NAIN. “We run this programme called NAIN — New Age Incubation Network. We give Rs 10 lakh to engineering colleges for operational cost.We fund a maximum of 10 experiments per college. The first year, we helped 90 student-innovators. Out of 90, 18-20 registered as companies, 6-7 patents out of that. We had more than 70 working prototypes. The beauty is we do not give the money to colleges in Bengaluru,”

Kharge, who also handles tourism, is using startups to streamline processes in the sector. “We have hired a startup, they are evaluating us in KSTDC and Jungle Lodges. They have made recommendations,” he said in The Open House, which was jam packed with entrepreneurs from across sectors, was held as a run-up to the Startup Awards, which are due to take place on August 18.

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