You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

Karnataka to allow start-ups to pitch for govt contracts

Move could potentially revolutionise procurement for government agencies by bringing down costs and access to new tech solutions

Anita Babu  |  Bengaluru 

Start-up leaders embrace lobbying as part of the job

Karnataka plans to become the first state in the country to allow start-ups to pitch for local government contracts, a move that could potentially revolutionise procurement for government agencies by bringing down costs and access to new technology solutions.

The move called ‘the startup forum’, a collective of new enterprises across technology, manufacturing and services could pitch directly for government orders and execute them within the set cost and timelines.

“The move is a way to showcase innovation of colleges and others at the grass root levels. The start-ups, on the other hand, will benefit from the government, which is a very big buyer,” T V Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education and an advisor to the Karnataka’s start-up policy. Typically, government purchases follow protocols that mandate suppliers to either have a minimum threshold for revenue or have a three-year track record. “Because of the existing government policies, it is very difficult for them (governments) to tap into innovative solutions. Often, they are shut out from the innovative ideas to fix their issues,” said Pai.

Karnataka’s information technology and biotechnology director Tanusree Deb Barma said that the framework for the start-up forum is ready.

Karnataka, whose capital is Bengaluru, the world’s fastest growing start-up hub, earlier this week said it would look at aiding create 20,000 tech start-ups by 2020 and there by create 600,000 direct and 1.2 million indirect new jobs.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is driving the initiative to create more start-ups and generate new jobs across the state.

“A start-up council under my chairmanship will review the implementation of start-up policy on a regular basis,” Siddaramaiah said. The state has set up a start-up policy that also envisages a fund of funds for early stage funding of technology start-ups.

Pai, who also advises Rajasthan and West Bengal governments on start-ups, said the move by Karnataka will enable these start-ups to get better access to capital and clients.

“Karnataka and Rajasthan governments are way ahead of the central government in supporting the start-up culture in the country,” he said.

Karnataka has been one of the most active and competitive ones when it comes to promoting the startup ecosystem. The government has partnered with 91springboard, a start-up co-working space and incubator, on a public-private partnership basis. 91springboard, which has presence in Delhi and Gurgaon, is in the last leg of setting up its start-up space in Bengaluru.

Karnataka has set up a semiconductor and biotechnology venture funds of Rs 100 crore and Rs 50 crore, respectively, to help startups in those segments. It is also looking to soon open a centre of excellence on mobile applications with the help of IAMAI and Google.


  • Bengaluru is 15th among the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking
  • At 4x growth rate, the city was one of the top ecosystems with the most number of VC fundings during 2013-14
  • It is ranked sixth in terms of the number of fundings during 2013-14 globally
  • Bengaluru is hub to almost a third of the country’s start-ups
  • India had 3,100 start-ups at the end of 2014 and that number will cross 4,200 by the end of 2015

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, December 11 2015. 00:02 IST