We’ve Funded 61 Startups in the Last 4 Months
Kharge talks about startup policy, tourism and e-governance at the open house in the run-up to grand finale of
Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has funded 61 startups across sectors in the last four months, according to 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.Mystartuppolicyallowsme tofundanythingfromaerospaceto agriculture.” The Open House, which was jam packed with entrepreneurs from across sectors, was held as a run-up to the S t a r t u p 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, egovernance to his success mantra. The gove r n ment ’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.
“By next level, it is not just funding, not all startups need funding—it could be ideavalidation,mentorship,legal,trademark registration, IP. Whatever they need, we will do it for them,” he added. The state government is also running Idea2POC, part of the multi-sector StartupPolicylaunchedbyitin2015,and being implemented by Karnataka Biotechnology and Infor mation Technology Services (KBITS).
Kharge has also been reaching out to various ecosystem players, from Venture Capitalists, accelerators to coworking spaces, to create an overall favourable environment for startups.
“I am talking to people across the spectrum. I am talking to VC’s, big accelerators, co-working spaces, embassies, high commissions. Whatever the startups need, we will do that. With the VC’s, I have asked them simple things—to be more accessible for mentorship, ensure that startups have more access to their