The new startup policy from the Karnataka Government will include provisions to allow startups to bid for government projects, which have traditionally been a turf for the large corporations.
“We will look at the services and procurement from startups for operations within the govt. Some of the services government departments use is outdated because we have fallen back on technology. Till now only the bigwigs such as L&T and others have worked with the government. We want to encourage a level-playing field and create an open platform for startups to participate,” Karnataka IT minister Priyank Kharge told Moneycontrol on the sidelines of Elevate100 finale event.
The new policy will also elaborate on the mentorship program for startups.
The government wants to scale up the mentorship program to cities and towns outside Bangalore.
“There are a number pf startups and talent in smaller towns such as Hubli, Bellari, Kalaburgi. They also need mentorship. Some mentors should be present there. We will also have outreach program to bring on board more startups from the tier 2 and 3 towns,” Kharge added.
In the ongoing Elevate 100 program, the Karnataka Government received 400 applications from rural areas, and about 11 that made it to the top 100 startups selected under the incubation effort.
Also Read: Karnataka Government allocates Rs 400 crore to fund & mentor 100 startups
The government has also signed 8 MoUs with private sector companies such as Google, Amazon, Zoho, Kotak Bank, Yes Bank, among others to put together a ‘startup booster shot’ where these companies will offer various services to the startups to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey.
Google and Amazon Activate have been roped in to provide USD 3000 worth of cloud credits for startups registered under the Startup Cell and USD 20,000 worth of credits to the winners of Elevate100.
Yes Bank and Kotak Bank are also part of the booster shot, helping businesses in banking services, API integration, accounting, IT returns, GST returns, and tax audits and so on.
Zoho Corp will provide the startups with over 35 integrated applications on one account with complete administrative control and complimentary mobile apps. PwC, on the other hand, has been engaged for mentorship and consulting services.
“Our efforts don’t stop at elevating the chosen 100. We will engage with startups as long as our government is there (in power). The idea is to make these startups 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.
The Elevate100 jury has recommended that around 35 crore of the Rs 400 crore funds be awarded to the 100 finalists.