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Karnataka Govt, Nasscomm to set up 50,000 sq ft incubation center, IoT lab


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Karnataka Government and IT industry lobby group Nasscom will set up a 50,000 sq ft startup warehouse in Bangalore by November this year, reports Business Standard. Karnataka secretary for IT, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, Srivatsa Krishna told the publication that an estimated investment of Rs.5 crore will be made in the new facility.

Nasscomm will run and manage the programme. Apparently, the state government is also in talks with 3-4 private companies, who will come on board as co-sponsors of this startup accelerator. Details like size of sponsorship and role of these private companies isn’t clear yet.

The location of the new 50,000 sq ft facility isn’t finalised, though Krishna indicated to the publication that the existing facility might be expanded to accommodate it. Apparently, startups will be provided space and internet connectivity at this facility at Rs.5-15 per sq ft. The incubation tenure, for over 100 startups with 12 employees each, will be 6-12 months. The new facility will also house an Internet of Things (IoT) lab, a design center, a mobile devices lab, and a community events space for workshops.

Readers will remember that earlier this year, in April, Nasscom and Karnataka government had set up an 8,000 sq ft startup warehouse in Bangalore, with the objective of incubating 25-30 early-stage technology firms. The BS report claims that so far 28 startups have been incubated, which have collectively attracted investments worth $1 million. There is no indication of which these startups are.

The government also announced plans of setting up incubation centers in partnership with nine engineering colleges across the state, as indicated by this The Financial Express report. Apparently, each of these centers will receive Rs.40 lakh over the next three years.

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Karnataka govt. initiatives in the past: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had proposed the setting up of an Rs.15 crore angel fund for innovative projects, and set up of incubation centers for the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector, during his state budget speech last year.

The Karnataka govt. also manages three VC funds under Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund (KITVEN) – KITVEN Fund, KITVEN Fund – 2 and KARVEN Fund (Karnataka Venture Capital Fund). The KITVEN Fund has liquidated all its investments, but the other two are active. You can read about it here.

Other government initiatives

-In June 2014, the Telengana government announced that it will create a technology development bank that will offer seed funding to startups in the hardware and software sectors. The government also announced the setting up of an incubation centre in Hyderabad.

-In May 2014, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) had set up a Rs. 10 crore angel fund to support startups in the state, as reported by The Hindu. Each selected startup would receive a maximum of Rs.25 lakh seed capital.

-Last year, the Kerala government had proposed to set aside Rs.500 crore annually to improve the startup ecosystem in the state.

-Kochi-based public-private telecom business incubator Startup Village had also received Rs.150 crore from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Kerala government, in September last year.

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