Government of Karnataka is taking a unique initiative – by sending 25 entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley for 3-4 years to understand the start-up culture; interact with angel investors and other entrepreneurs. It plans to launch this cross-border entrepreneurship program in September in partnership with Indian entrepreneurs in the US.
In good news for entrepreneurs from Karnataka, the state government will sponsor them for a stay in the US so that they learn the rudiments of the business.
The government will fund Rs 50 lakh per entrepreneur and there will be an identical contribution from investors of Indian origin in Silicon Valley.
According to M N Vidyashankar, Karnataka’s industries secretary “Once they return from the Valley, they will be obliged to begin a new venture or partnership”.
Indian-American technology entrepreneurs Kumar Malavalli and Shivaram Malavalli were spearheading the initiative in the Silicon Valley. Incidentally as the Malavalli brothers are from Mysore – they will play the role of facilitators and mentors to the young entrepreneurs from Karnataka.
Among other behind the program is Mr. Kumar, the co-founder and former CTO of data-and-storage networking products company Brocade Communications while Shivaram is the chairman of the Indian Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park and Business Incubators’ Association, and has nurtured many entrepreneurs.
In what looks to be another promising initiative, the alumni network in top technical colleges, including IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, National Institute of Technology Karnataka in Surathkal, and others, are coming together to invest over Rs 300 crore to set up a 1,500-seater startup incubator facility in Electronics City. Vidyashankar said the facility, expected to be operational by the end of this year, would also provide advisory and mentorship services, and help with seed funding, and backward and forward linkages.
People behind the program want to see a success rate equal to YCombinator and are also getting valuable inputs from them to make this program a success for the entrepreneurs of Karnataka state.