Innovation and Startups

Karnataka's Innovation and Startups Ecosystem

Number of Startups
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Active Tech investors
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Funding Raised
$ 0 Bn
Accelerators & Incubators
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Innovation Hubs
DPIIT Registered Startups
0 K
Funded tech startups- highest number in India
0 K
Mergers and Acquisitions

About Innovation and Startups Ecosystem

The state of Karnataka is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world with more than 10,000 DPIIT recognised startups. It is home to over 40% of the total unicorns in India with 40 Unicorns and 44 Soonicorns till date. The state is ranked first in NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index 2022 & was awarded the Best Performer in DPIIT state rankings. It has a thriving startup ecosystem and was home to some of the earliest unicorns viz. Flipkart, InMobi, Ola among many others.

The Innovation and Startups team at KDEM works on sustainable growth agenda with startups at all maturity levels. The team works very closely with startups led by student entrepreneurs in their pre final and final year of engineering. The I&S team also works closely with accelerators and incubators to boost the startup ecosystem in the state. For bootstrapped startups, the team focuses on selected agendas such as providing relevant services through various initiatives. Through flagship initiatives such as Beyond Bengaluru Blue, Cluster Seed Fund, and tie-ups with partner organizations, KDEM aims to bring the members of the startup ecosystem together to collaborate and scale up their growth. The main objective of the Innovation and Startups team at KDEM is to provide startups an easy access to capital, mentorship & networking opportunities. The team also works with large startup enterprises for policy advocacy issues.
KDEM through its Innovation and Startups vertical plans to support Startup Policy facilitation, support Innovation framework through CoE, TBIs, NAINs and CIFs and facilitate Industry connect & Enterprise connect programmes for Start-ups. KDEM plans to handhold startups and facilitate investor connects by conducting various programmes and undertaking initiatives like designing and implementing a digital research hub and providing support to elevate companies through effective mentoring & acceleration programs.

Our Aspirational goals

Our Aspirational goals

Quotes from Leaders

Mission of skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling the
youth should go on relentlessly

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister of India

Beyond Bengaluru

The Beyond Bengaluru initiative of the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) is spearheading the objective of proliferating the growth of digital economy in clusters beyond Bangalore. This is done for select identified clusters in the state by developing and facilitating a product-based ecosystem. Building a community of key industry players, entrepreneurs, start-up owners, academia, accelerators, and student community, the Beyond Bengaluru program of KDEM is steering towards getting investments and generating employment in the State.

The Beyond Bengaluru initiative is DRIVING THE NEXT by contributing to Government of Karnataka’s existing efforts of moving technology and innovation to the cities beyond Bengaluru. Bangalore has already proven to be the investment hub of leading companies. Now, KDEM is putting efforts to enhance the ecosystem of Karnataka by makingthe Beyond Bengaluru clusters hubs of innovationthrough building strong industry connects, resulting in an increase in demand from IT/GCC/ESDM companies for workforce these cities.

Few of the challenges that Beyond Bengaluru Initiative addresses are as below

Access to Funds

World Class Infrastructure

Lack of Guidance from Experts

Decicion making on Funding


Other Incentives

Startups get access to the following tools and services at discounts or on a free-of-cost basis through credits from our industry partners


Future Digital Jobs
Karnataka Skill Connect Portal


16 DEC 2022

KDEM knowledge dissemination series

16 DEC 2023

Policy talks


Fintech Task Force Report - 2022

Inc42 Report

Karnataka Startup Policy 2022- 2027

ER&D Policy

Industrial Policy 2020-25

Handbook On Digital Economy Policies, Programs & Incentives In Karnataka

Startup Genome Report

Karnataka State Report –StartupIndia

Inc42 Indian Tech Startup Funding Report

Inc42 National Startup Day

YOURSTORY State of India’s Startup Ecosystem July 2022

The State of the Indian Startup Ecosystem – Inc42

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Handbook On Digital Economy Policies, Programs & Incentives In Karnataka

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KEONICS, 27th Main Rd, 1st Sector, HSR Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560102

Gone are the days when start-ups and entrepreneurship were restricted to metro cities. Today, approximately 50% of the recognised start-ups in India are based out of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The ongoing tech revolution witnessed in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are fuelling the country’s economic growth and driving socioeconomic transformation on a global scale.

As an ecosystem enabler, KDEM gives utmost importance to nurturing startup ecosystem in identified clusters such as Mangaluru, Mysuru and Hubballi-Dharwad- Belagavi. The Beyond Bengaluru Start Up Grid is an attempt to create a knowledge and service delivery repository to enable easier access to capital, mentorship, knowledge dissemination and key services offered by KDEM.

The Grid leverages the advantages of the networks across different stages of the start-ups. These networksenable startups to access inputs and relevant business-related information to build on. Grid facilitates access to mentor groups across the broad areas like HR, Legal, R&D, Accounting services, Marketing & Branding experts, upcoming start-ups in the grid can leverage the network to improve their business strategies.
The core objective is to:
  1. Increase the share of start-ups contribution to about 5% of the State GDP.
  2. Have 25,000 startups that employ about 10 lakh professionals.
  3. Create 40 Unicorns and 50 Soonicorns.
  4. Create a network of 150 VC investors with corpus of USD 100 bn by the year 2025.
Through this, a startup in the Beyond Bengaluru Start-Up Grid will get access to:
  • KDEM Knowledge Dissemination Series insights from entrepreneurs and VCs; masterclass on pitching, go-to-market strategy, and IP facilitation; and exclusive access to networking opportunities
  • R&D Pack of KDEM compiled information of various funds/projects from Central Government, State Government, Universities, and other Institutions.
  • Talent Accelerator program connect with academia in KDEM’s network to collaborate on selected ideas for innovation challenges.
  • Biannual Road Show & Beyond Bengaluru Blue opportunity to pitch ideas to the VCs
  • Premium service KDEM’s office in Bengaluru as a co-working space
Other offerings include Process guidance on simplified registrations & availing of incentives&Linking to the Start Up Cell of Karnataka.

Nearly 50% of the recognized startups in India are now from Tier 2 and 3 cities. This is a big testament to the fact that the startup revolution in India has reached all corners of the country, moving beyond Bengaluru, Mumbai, and National Capital Region (NCR).The need of the hour is to ensure these startups are given easy access to capital to provide them an equitable opportunity to scale up.

The Beyond Bengaluru Cluster Seed Fund initiative is aimed at providing funding support for early-stagestartups of the Beyond Bengaluru Startups in Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubballi- Dharwad-Belagavi clusters.

The Fund is intended to invest in unlisted start-ups, early stage, small and medium enterprises, and such other enterprises driven by innovation. KDEM is the implementing agency forthis initiative.

Entities such as accelerators help early-stage startups accelerate their growth by providing resources such as mentorship, networking opportunities, and funding through a program that would typically last for a few months while incubators provide all the above mentioned along with the working space to the startups.

Karnataka Acceleration Network is an initiative by KDEM aimed at nurturing ~306 start-ups over a period of 3 years, through a unique model of mentor-mentee relationship between the participating accelerators/ incubators.

The Acceleration network would include three Accelerators from Bengaluru and one Accelerator/Incubator each from the three clusters viz. Mysuru, Mangaluru & Hubballi-Dharwad-Bengaluru.
Some of the key objectives of KAN are as follows:
  • To create vital inter-linkages/ exchanges of information
  • Assist in raising venture capital, support exit by acquisition, and help in gaining customer traction
  • To facilitate industry-connect, fundraising through VCs/Angels and promote globalization
KDEM acts as an investment facilitator by providing end to end facilitation support to startups across Karnataka with focus on startups from the Beyond Bengaluru clusters. KDEM ensures easier access to capital to the Beyond Bengaluru startups through BLUE events.

KDEM assures that the startups get access to global best-in-class mentorship and assists with the service providers in terms of offering Co-working spaces, Networking, Legal Advisory, Marketing among others.
KDEM extends facilitation support for soft-landing of startups based out of India through its channel partners.

In the past, during the Bengaluru Tech Summit, KDEM facilitated interaction of startups with international delegations from Israel, Germany & EU – India INNOCENTER.
Beyond Bengaluru BLUE event is an initiative by KDEM to give startups in the clusters a fair chance to showcase and pitch their startups to VCs, Angel Investors & Industry leaders.

The BLUE events are conducted annually in the three Beyond Bengaluru clusters viz. Hubballi-Dharwad-Belagavi, Mangaluru and Mysuru. Some of the winners from these events will be given a chance to showcase their startups at the Bengaluru Tech Summit.
As part of the facilitation services provided to startups, KDEM helps startups in the state avail reimbursements under the Patent Reimbursement Incentive scheme.

The cost of filing and prosecution of patent application will be reimbursed to the startups incubated in Government of Karnataka supported incubators and CIFs subject to a limit of INR 2 Lakhs per Indian patent awarded. For foreign patentsawarded on a single subject matter, up to INR 10 Lakh would be reimbursed. The reimbursement will be done in 2 stages, i.e., 75% after the patent is filed and the balance 25% after the patent is granted.
Beyond Bengaluru Startups, incubated in Government of Karnataka supported incubators and CIFs with a maximum annual turnover of INR 1 Crore shall be eligible for 100% reimbursement of annual State GST (SGST), within first three years of being incubated.
KDEM will facilitate and handhold the companies towards filing Patents (products/services) that they have developed.