The Karnataka Digital Economy Mission which has the objective of facilitating and promoting more than 7,000 e-commerce firms, start-ups, and other big businesses of the state will be officially launched in February, said Dr C N Ashwatha Narayana, Deputy Chief Minister, who is also the minister for IT/BT and S&T, on Friday.
He said this after presenting awards and distributing cheques to winners of Elevate Unnati: 2020 in a ceremony held at Vidhana Soudha.
Elevate Unnati is a grant-in-aid program (maximum up to 50 lakhs) dedicated to startups promoted by SC/ST Entrepreneurs and 19 startups were felicitated and were given grants of up to Rs 30 lakh. This is funded by Social Welfare Department under the SCSP/TSP scheme, according to an official release.
Budding entrepreneurs should focus on finding novel solutions to the existing problem, to make their products market-fit, to build the right team, and have the mindset of continuous learning and grit to make their ideas a reality, Narayana suggested.
Karnataka state has an eco-system that helps startups to flourish. Recently, Bengaluru has been declared as a "Rapidly Growing Tech City" by the UK, and further, the state of Karnataka has been named as "Most Innovative State of the Country' for the second time in a row by NITI Aayog. Entrepreneurs should make use of the existing ecosystem comprising incubators, accelerators, centres of excellence, mentors, TBIs, and academia to emerge as the champions of innovation, he said.
The state which is at present a 52 billion dollar digital economy aims to become a 300 billion dollar economy in the next five years. To achieve this the expected change needs to be seen in every village, he said.
Prashanth Prakash, chairman, Vision Group for Startups, suggested that entrepreneurs should share their stories with the community and focus to reinvent and rebuild their ideas according to the present developments and trends.
Dr EV Ramana Reddy, ACS, Department of Electronics, IT/BT, and S&T who made opening remarks said, "Elevate Unnati Grant funding scheme of Karnataka is the first of its kind in the country where startups promoted by SC/ST Entrepreneurs are provided a grant in aid without taking any equity."
Apart from funding, all Elevate startups are given high visibility and recognition by the government, he said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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