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

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech -

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

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