In 2016, startups like Uber, Ola had to temporarily stop their cab operations in Bengaluru until they obtained the required ‘cab aggregator’ licenses from the transport department.
A year later, in order to remove such roadblocks for startups, the Karnataka government on Thursday announced a new legal framework to help startups struggling with government regulations.
“According to the current law of the land, platforms like Uber, Ola, and RedBus should be shut because the Motor Vehicles Act doesn’t allow such services. But that doesn’t mean that business should be stopped. With this framework, they can continue to operate until the government brings a law around it,” IT/BT minister Priyank Kharge said.
Furthermore, with announcement of a slew of new policies around innovation, the IT/BT department has been renamed as the Department of Innovation.
Interestingly, the minister also launch a new entrepreneurship scheme, under which Rs 30,000 per month would be provided to any entrepreneur for a year while they incubate their idea with Karnataka’s startup cell.
Additionally, for startups wanting to work with the government, a Karnataka Innovation Authority will be established. A startup can approach this department to mandate the technology and implement it within the government.
Going forward, the Elevate 100 program launched in 2017 by Karnataka to identify the top 100 innovations in the state, has been renamed to Elevate 500, wherein it has now been scaled to identify the top 500 innovations in the state.
Kharge further announced that a policy to focus on gender parity will also be announced for women taking a break from work.
He also announced centres of excellence (CoEs) in data science, machine learning, AI, and cyber security. All of the initiatives were announced under the Innovate Karnataka platform. “Innovate Karnataka will now focus on skilling in emerging technologies, fostering innovation, on international communication, and help in IPs (intellectual property),” Kharge said.
The above development was first reported in Times of India.
Notably, in 2015 Karnataka became the first state to provide incentives & concessions for certified startups. Patent/ Tax/ Marketing reimbursement to facilitate scaling up of business.
In March last year, Karnataka funded 8 tourism startups amounting to ₹1.8 Crore as a part of the Idea to Proof of Concept Grant Scheme (Idea2POC) announced by the government under the Karnataka Startup Policy 2015-20.
Later in June, under the same idea2poc scheme, 12 startups were awarded ₹3.18 Cr by Priyank Kharge at a ceremony held yesterday. Startups were from varied segment like Agritech, Biotech, Security, Robotics & Communications. Selection was based on technology, feasibility and innovation.
In August, Karnataka government claimed that it has funded 61 startups across sectors in April’17-July’17.