Karnataka to fund 50 startups this year


The Karnataka Government has a total outlay of Rs 25 crore for businesses that are less than five years old.

Startups pitching to a jury at Elevate 2018

This year, 650 companies across Karnataka applied for Elevate, the state government-run startup competition. Two hundred and fifty startups were shortlisted for the finals, of which 50 will be picked for government grants and funding.

Last year 1,700 startups applied, and the government funded 100 companies. The Karnataka Government has provided Rs 42 crore to 177 startups so far, and has already disbursed Rs 30 crore.

The pitching session was for six minutes and the Q&A lasted six minutes. Questions on overall funding required, the R&D and people costs, marketing costs, and working capital for the next 12 months were posed by jury members to startups.

The average score to qualify for a mini-grant of Rs 5 lakh was 60. Only those startups that score more than 90 percent, on an average, will receive a grant of Rs 50 lakh.

The Karnataka Government puts in a maximum of Rs 50 lakh per startup for those it believes will make the maximum impact on technology and society.

Priyank Kharge, Minister of Social Welfare in Karnataka, says: “Karnataka is the only government that has actively invested in startups. Apart from the Elevate programme, we invested in 44 startups last year.”

Last year, startups were selected in various sectors: life sciences (19), biotech (11), agritech (11), AVGC (4), clean tech (4), and IT/ITES (26), women entrepreneurs (19), rural (11), and ESD (27).