Karnataka plans to tap startups to explore scalable solutions to its problems.
Bengaluru | Red Newswire | By ET Bureau | 19 Nov 2015 02:12 AM IST.
Karnataka has decided to tap its vibrant startup ecosystem in Bengaluru and outside to find workable and scalable solutions to some of its nagging problems and challenges. In 2015, close to 35% of Indian startups functioned from the state, making it the single largest startup hub in the country.
The state’s first start-up policy, cleared by the Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah makes a mention about this.
Karnataka’s IT department Principal Secretary V Manjula told ET that many a time, the government looked for innovative solutions in areas like health and education. “There could be many social innovations happening in the startup ecosystem, but the government may not have the means to access that. So, we have decided to encourage startups to come up with innovative solutions which we can roll out as pilots,” she said.
The government plans to throw a social innovation challenge competition at startups; it wants to use the model of grand challenges to focus attention on specific problems.
The government will first form an official committee with representation from the government, subject specialists, non-profits etc., which will identify five challenges every year, Manjula said.
Each year, the challenges would be posed in five identified areas, and solutions selected through a rigorous selection process will be awarded an initial grant and a follow-on funding. The solutions, thus gathered, will be taken up for implementation as a pilot at an appropriate scale.
The winners, according to Manjula, will automatically qualify for incubation space in the incubators supported by the State Government as per the prevailing norms.
As per the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report 2015, Bengaluru is home to approximately 3,100 to 4,900 active tech startups and has achieved the second highest growth rate for exit volume and venture capital investment among the top 20. As a result, Bengaluru moved up four positions to #15 in 2015, advancing from #19 in the 2012 ranking. As per this report Bengaluru is the only Indian city to be ranked within the best twenty startup ecosystems across the world.