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Karnataka shortlists 100 innovative start-ups, to give Rs 35 cr in funding

Investments will be made in the form of grants as well as equity investments

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 

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has picked 100 of the most innovative start-ups in the state to handhold them to the next stage by giving them access to mentors, incubators and venture capital investors.

Through its 'Elevate 100 Startups' programme, the state will invest Rs 35 crore into these companies, based on the recommendations of an expert panel. The investments will be made in the form of grants as well as equity through Karnataka’s and IT funds.

“We are the first state in the country to look for innovations in every nook and corner of the state. Of the 1,700 applications, what is encouraging is that close to 400 start-ups were from rural areas and more than 350 were from women entrepreneurs,” said Priyank Kharge, the state's minister for information technology and biotechnology.

The competition, which started over two months ago, concluded on Wednesday, with the announcement of the winners. The top 100 will get a kit that will include freebies from Google, Amazon and Zoho, and services and mentoring from firms such as PwC, Yes Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Of the 100 finalists, a quarter were from the electronic system design and manufacturing and spaces; 19 were from the medical technology space; 11 from the sector; three from the agricultural space; and six were working on clean technologies.

“We ensured that the state’s role is only that of bringing together corporates and start-ups. They are the experts and not us, which is why not a single representative of the state was on the jury panel,” said Kharge.

The spread of ensured that sectors such as biotechnology, agriculture, animation and visual effects, which don’t get much exposure to venture capitalists and institutional investors, receive recognition. Moreover, part of the effort by the state was towards finding and promoting start-up culture outside of Bengaluru.
While only 11 out of the top 100 firms came from outside the city, Kharge said that several start-ups, while not based in the capital city, ended up registering for the event. Kharge said that the growth of start-ups from Hubbali, Belgaum, Mangaluru and Mysuru was extremely encouraging.

First Published: Thu, August 31 2017. 01:35 IST