Bengaluru: Under the ‘Elevate Karnataka’ programme, the State Government plans to allocate approximately Rs. 20 crore to support about 100 startups this year. Startups seeking funding and mentorship for scaling up can submit applications until December.
Priyank Kharge, the Minister for Information Technology and Biotechnology, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, announced that the Government will offer a one-time grant of up to Rs. 50 lakh to each startup, aiming to boost innovators in need of early-stage funding.
Since its inception in 2015, the Government has already funded Rs. 197 crore to 874 startups, including notable ones like Bounce, an electric scooter manufacturer and Shuhari Tech Ventures, a fintech company led by women. Of these funded startups, 24 percent hail from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, and 30 percent were founded by women, according to Kharge.
The initiative’s objective is to create a holistic entrepreneurial platform, providing startups with access to mentors, networking opportunities, funds, idea validation and incubation facilities. These contributions span various sectors, acting as catalysts for startup development.
Under ‘Elevate Unnati’, a component of the ‘Elevate Karnataka’ scheme, the Government is specifically promoting startups from SC and ST communities. To date, 91 startups founded by SCs and STs have received funding. Additionally, 18 startups from the Kalyana-Karnataka region have been granted Rs. 3.5 crore, as per the Minister.
Kharge emphasised the Government’s commitment to supporting startups in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and rural areas across the State, noting that these startups have collectively generated thousands of jobs. The Government aims to facilitate direct access to venture capitalists, providing mentorship, incubation, market access, networking, and funding for startups.
The Minister emphasised that the Government is prepared to be the first customer for startups, highlighting that the support goes beyond funding to encompass the entire entrepreneurial journey, with the goal of ensuring the success of these startups.
Beyond Bengaluru, an initiative led by the Department of Electronics, IT and BT, focuses on fostering the establishment of startups and industries in Tier II towns such as Mysuru, Hubballi, Mangaluru and Belagavi. This sector-specific approach aims to facilitate the growth of startups in various industries like agriculture, biotechnology and aerospace in specific towns.