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K’taka Govt Extends Seed Funding to Biotech, Medtech & Health Startups

Written by : Jayati Dubey

December 18, 2023

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Karnataka's startup ecosystem includes 14,000 startups, approximately 40 unicorns, and enjoys 8th rank in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index.

To support innovation and entrepreneurial endeavours in the biotech, medtech, and healthcare sectors, the Karnataka government has extended seed funding assistance to startups within these domains. However, the exact details of the financial aid provided through the state's seed funding program were not disclosed.

The state's commitment to fostering entrepreneurial talent was emphasised during the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2023, where officials announced the extension of seed funding support.

The three-day event showcased the government's dedication to innovation by unveiling 35 innovative products and solutions developed by startups during the Summit.

Among the initiatives contributing to the growth of the startup ecosystem, the Elevate Unnati 2023 stands out, offering a grant of INR 5 Cr for early-stage entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the Vriddhi Scheme, part of the state budget for FY 2022-23, provides loan assistance ranging from INR 5 to 10 Lakhs at a 4% interest rate for women-led start-ups, repayable in 60 instalments. The Idea2PoC (Proof of Concept) program is another avenue for startups to explore.

Karnataka's proactive efforts align with broader national goals, as India aims to achieve a $150 billion bio-economy by 2025, with aspirations to elevate it to $300 billion by 2030.

Notably, Karnataka, often recognised as the 'Biotechnology Capital of India,' has played a pivotal role in contributing to these ambitious targets. In 2022, the state's bio-economy reached $27.1 billion.

The state government's investment in biotech research and development exceeds $200 million, positioning Karnataka as the third-largest ethanol producer in India, boasting over 60 producers. Karnataka's startup ecosystem includes 14,000 startups, approximately 40 unicorns, and the state enjoys 8th rank in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index.

The Summit showcased the diversity and inclusivity of Karnataka's startup landscape, with nine out of the 35 presenting startups being women-led. The products and solutions unveiled spanned various sectors, including IT, agritech, medtech, healthcare, cleantech, AI, deep tech, blockchain, cybersecurity, and environmental tech.

Many of these innovative startups have thrived within government-supported incubators, such as K-tech Innovation Hubs, Centres of Excellence (CoEs), and Technology Business Incubators (TBIs).

Institutions including C-CAMP, NASSCOM, Jain Incubation Centre, Deshpande Startups, and CoE - Cybersecurity have played pivotal roles in anchoring and nurturing these ventures.

The spectrum of solutions launched ranged from electronic devices integrating artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) to advancements in automotive manufacturing, innovations in footwear and accessories, technologies in avionics and defence, and effluent air treatment solutions.

Noteworthy solutions also included fabric authentication tools, animations, and comics, deep tech-based platforms for quality assessment, and apps designed to prevent fraudulent transactions.

As Karnataka continues to foster a conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, the state's proactive initiatives and supportive ecosystem are poised to contribute significantly to the growth of the biotech, medtech, and healthcare sectors, aligning with the broader national vision for a thriving bio-economy.

In another development, the Karnataka government unveiled plans to conceptualise the development of a Knowledge, Healthcare, Innovation, and Research (KHIR) City on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The project aims to attract a substantial investment of INR 40,000 Cr in the healthcare, innovation, and knowledge sectors, potentially creating 80,000 jobs within the proposed KHIR City.


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