Karnataka government said that it aims at ensuring that Bengaluru breaks into the world’s top 10 start-up ecosystems.
“The idea that we have envisaged is to ensure that 20,000 start-ups are groomed by our startup policy. We are going to have a dedicated start-up cell, we are going to have a dedicated start-up booster kit and we are going have a dedicated fund to ensure things,” Minister of Information Technology & Bio Technology Priyank Kharge said.
Kharge agreed that it is difficult to meet such ambitious policy targets, but insists on having a strong intent. “The failure rate among start-ups is quite high. How do I ensure fewer start-ups fail? We open up the system, ensure access to quality mentors, incubators, investors and capital. We tie up with accelerators. We help with legal process and idea validation. These things combined will help us propel to 20,000 start-ups,” he added.
“With this we hope to continue as the torch bearer of the IT and BT industry in India and we will continue to be the start-up capital of India. We are already into the top 15 startup ecosystems in the world and the aim is to break into the top 10,” said Kharge.
In order to boost start-ups and encourage entrepreneurs, the government has taken different initiatives like the launch of an incubation programme, Elevate 100, Karnataka Startup Cell, policies etc.
Besides these, Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund (KITVEN Fund) a Rs.15.00 crore, Information Technology specific, SEBI registered, has backed Venture Capital Fund (VCF) since 1999. Today, in its portfolio, it has a number of buyouts, buybacks and other corporations. To name a few- Logix Microsystems Limited, Cerebra Integrated Technologies Limited, RelQ Software Pvt. Ltd, and others.
Over the past four months alone, the state IT department has funded over 61 start-ups with a sum of anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50 lakh.
The Incubation programme was also launched by Kharge and his team recently for 100 start-ups across the state, through a two-month selection programme called Elevate 100. As many as 111 ventures have been selected out of 1,800 from various parts of the state.
These start-ups will be provided mentoring, apart from legal, banking and tech infrastructure help through partnerships with companies like Google, Amazon, Zoho, PwC, Yes Bank and Kotak Bank. They will also have access to Rs 400 crore state funding.
“Our efforts don’t stop at elevating the chosen 100. We will engage with start-ups as long as our government is there (in power). The idea is to make these start-ups successful. If they succeed, only then our policy succeeds. We are one of the few governments in the country that listens. That’s why we have such progressive policies that have attracted investors also,” Kharge said.
— Priyank Kharge (@PriyankKharge) August 30, 2017
The Karnataka Startup Cell, that was set up in July 2016, invested between Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 1.7 core in an aerospace start-up and a few IT innovation start-ups in the same year.
According to a source, Bengaluru’s start-up community and VC network find the minister’s startup policies and programmes heartening. “It is a welcome measure by the government to engage with start-ups and facilitate the growth of the ecosystem. We should not look at the results now. It is still a nascent industry and too early to gauge outcomes,” said Naganand Doraswamy, founder of VC fund Ideaspring Capital and former president of TiE’s Bangalore chapter.
Doraswamy also agreed that 20,000 start-ups seemed like a rather stiff target. “But we should shoot for a high number always. My only concern is we should be mindful of the quality of startups, not just quantity,” he added.
According to Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report 2015, the city is the second fastest growing start-up ecosystem in the world and is the only Indian city to be ranked among the best 15 start-up ecosystems across the world.