Karnataka calls for hunt to identify and scale startups, announces Rs 200cr fund

5th Jul 2017
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Startups across the state are eligible to participate in this first-of-its-kind programme in the country and be eligible for a slice of the Rs 200-crore fund. At Elevate 2017, 100 companies will get to enjoy top-class mentorship, validate their ideas and spread innovation.

The Karnataka government today announced Elevate 2017, a programme to pick 100 startups with innovative ideas and potential to grow fast. It will be an exercise in tune with BengaluruITE.biz, the State’s annual flagship infotech event every November.

State IT & BT Minister Priyank Kharge (extreme right) with (from left) Kunal Kashyap, Executive Director, TiE Bengaluru,
Ravi Gururaj, President, TiE Bengaluru, Naganand Doraiswamy, Managing Director & Founder, Ideaspring Capital, Sunil Kumar SK, CTO, Deshpande Foundation, Salma Fahim, MD, KBITS, and Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, IT&BT Department.

State IT and BT Minister Priyank Kharge announced that the selected startups will have access to seed funds, venture capitalists, mentors and network under one roof.

“It is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. The registration for participating in Elevate will close on July 18 and the event will be held on August 28 and 29. Elevate will help the state support IT and BT, which is growing at a fast pace, and also help them take themselves to the next level,” Kharge said.

The official website—www.elevate.bengaluruite.biz—was unveiled along with a logo.

Elevate is the brainchild of the startup cell of the Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS), which will help these selected companies succeed through their tough entrepreneurial journey.

“The selected startups will have access to Rs 200 crore in funds. But, all of them may not need funds and they may need access to mentors, networking opportunities, idea validation, incubation facilities and in-depth sessions for accounting, legal and emerging tech,” Kharge added.

Elevate 2017, the first edition, is being supported by TiE and the Deshpande Foundation, which will help hold open houses to identify startups in Mangaluru, Mysuru, Hubli and Kalaburgi.

The selected companies will be able to access a mixture of funds worth Rs 200 crore from Karnataka IT Venture Fund (KITVEN), Biotech Venture fund, AVGC venture fund, Karasevam fund and the idea2POC funds for tourism, women entrepreneurs and agri startups.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Elevate will help Bengaluru and Karnataka retain the number-one spot in the country with regard to IT, BT and the positive startup culture that it is promoting.

In a message, he added: “Elevate 2017 is not just one of the programmes of the government to boost trade and business in Karnataka. We aim to help entrepreneurship and ultimately look for great ideas to use technology to solve larger problems in our society.”

Till date, the Karnataka government has identified 46 startups and sanctioned Rs 15.68 crore in the field of biotechnology (26 startups, Rs 10.70 crore), tourism (eight startups, Rs 1.80 crore) and IT (12 startups, Rs 3.18 crore). Elevate hopes to identify more such potential startups.

The Deshpande Foundation, The Indus Entrepreneurs and some venture capitalists will be on board to identify compelling ideas in IT, electronic system design manufacturing, animation, visual gaming and comics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and life sciences.

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