BANGALORE: The Karnataka government has created a fund of Rs 20 crore to provide grants of $30,000 (Rs 18 lakh) each to innovative ideas
The first of these grants has been made to biotech researcher and entrepreneur Ezhil Subbian, whose startup string is working to make plastics biodegradable.
The state government’s initiative is in collaboration with three universities in California and TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Silicon Valley chapter, and is part of the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative.
Kumar Malavalli, one of the richest Indians in the US and who is closely associated with the initiative, said the California organizations would vet the ideas and recommend to the Karnataka government those they think should be given the grant.
Malavalli, who grew up in Mysore and Bangalore, was in the city as part of a large delegation from San Francisco that included its Mayor. He co-founded Brocade Communications in1995. Its IPO in 1999 was the largest of the time.
Malavalli said the funded startup would have the obligation to establish operations in Karnataka. “The funding will be at the idea stage, and we expect the entrepreneurs to use the funds to validate the idea and come up with a business plan. The idea has to be disruptive, scalable and sustainable, and must seek to solve real-life problems,” he said.
The three California universities — Berkeley, Santa Cruz and San Francisco — will vet biotech proposals, and TiE Silicon Valley will vet all other ideas. TiE SV will also offer space free of cost in California for these startups to operate out of for some time.