Innovation Hub India


Policy Boost for Startups

In a bid to amplify Bengaluru’s increasing prominence as a tech innovator, and to encourage entrepreneurs across the state, Karnataka has introduced a host of incentives, policies and other facilitative measures to boost startups and innovation.

The first of their kind in India, a multi-sector Startup Policy, an Innovation Policy, and several sector specific policies rolled out by the Karnataka Department of IT, BT and S&T promote startups across a wide spectrum of sectors such as Agri Tech, Biotech and allied sectors, Information & Communication Technology, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Healthcare, Education, Fintech and others.

Karnataka Startup Policy 2015-2020

Introduced in 2015 to bolster the robust startup ecosystem of Bengaluru through strategic investment and policy interventions, and to similarly develop other cities in the state, the Karnataka Startup Policy aims to stimulate the growth of 20,000 technology based startups, 6,000 product startups, and at least 25 innovative technology solutions in sectors like Healthcare, Food Security, Clean Energy and Education by 2020.

Under this policy, the government has earmarked Rs. 2,000 crore as ‘Fund of Funds’, to be invested across multiple sectors. Other measures include setting up 19 New Age Incubation Networks (NAIN) and 9 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) in institutions of higher learning with well-developed Research and Development facilities to foster a strong link between R&D and commercialisation of technologies. The focus sectors include:

  • Information & Communication Technology (ICT)/Internet of Things (IOT)/Software Products
  • Manufacturing including Electronics systems design, Robotics and 3D Printing
  • Healthcare and Bio Pharma
  • Agriculture and allied fields
  • Clean-Tech – Energy, Water and its recycling
  • Education
  • Nanotechnology and Composites
Bengaluru has 7,504 startups with an average valuation of $3.4 million and attracts more than 6,000 investors.

Karnataka Startup Cell

A dedicated Startup Cell, again the first of its kind in India, assists early stage startups and turns their ideas into proof of concept. The Cell connects them with relevant government departments to implement pilots, help with statutory compliances, and helps them network with other stakeholders of the startup ecosystem.


The Startup Cell has partnered with leading service providers to create a Startup Booster Kit – a collection of necessary software tools and services, such as cloud, virtual telephony, debugging and online payment, available at a special price tailor-made to cater to the needs of young startups. The industry partners include IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Ozonetel, Airtel,Vodafone, CanvasFlip, HeadSpin and other tech giants.

Bengaluru Tech Summit

The flagship event of the Department of IT, BT and S&T, the Bengaluru Tech Summit brings together technocrats, thought leaders, innovators, investors and policy makers across sectors enabling disruptive interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborations. The theme for the 2018 edition is ‘Innovation & Impact’ and it focuses primarily on Blockchain, AI, ML & Robotics, Intelligent Apps and Analytics, Immersive Experience (AR/VR), IOT, Telecom, Cyber Security, BioPharma, BioAgri, BioEnergy & BioFuels, BioServices, BioInformatics, Investment & Finance, among other sectors.

Karnataka Innovation Policy

The Karnataka Innovation Policy or the i4 Policy aims to foster innovation across IT, ITES and other knowledge based sectors by providing a single window clearance mechanism, tax exemptions and other reimbursements, with special encouragements to SMEs and startups.

Sector specific policies

The sector specific policies list out special benefits, exemptions, skill development programmes and funding for each focus sector. Some of the policies include the KESDM Policy to promote electronics system design and manufacturing, the AVGC Policy to promote animation, visual effects, gaming and comics, and Biotech Policy.