Karnataka to set up IT start-up warehouse

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Aug 13 2014, 07:18am hrs
In a big push to IT infrastructure in the state and creating a start-up conducive ecosystem, the Karnataka government on Tuesday announced setting up a 50,000-sq ft start-up warehouse in Bangalore, in association with IT industry body Nasscom.

The state government will invest Rs 4-5 crore into the project, which is likely to be operational by November.

The government has identified two locations for the warehouse in Bangalore and will zero in on one soon. The warehouse will have a design centre of excellence, working space for daily use on pay-as-you-go basis, a mobile devices lab and an internet of things lab.

Once completed, the facility will have the capacity to house over 100 start-ups comprising up to 12 employees each on a 24x7 basis.

The government and Nasscom also announced a 500-seater Hack-celerator, a combination of a hackathon and an accelerator, which will be integrated into the warehouse facility.

"Around three-four large companies will be co-sponsors of the Hack-celerator.

It will be up by November. We will be sector-agnostic while on-boarding the start-ups. The government and Nasscom will peruse the applications and they will be selected based on merit, said Karnataka IT Secretary Srivatsa Krishna.

Besides, the government is also contemplating providing plug and play built-up space with internet to the start-ups at anything between Rs 5-15 per sq ft. A start-up warehouse set up by the Karnataka government together with Nasscom last year had resulted in 28 start-ups creating more than 100 jobs. At least six of these companies are serving the global market.

Work is also underway to transform Karnataka into a WiFi enabled state in the next one year. Bangalore became the first city in India to launch free public WiFi earlier this year. Additional locations are being added. It is proposed to have this facility in entire Bangalore and in all the district capitals. EoI has been called and six companies have responded. Evaluation is under process. Entire process will be completed in six months, Karnataka IT minister S R Patil told reporters.

The Karnataka government also announced a slew of measure to boost the IT ecosystem in the state, which accounts for one-third of the country's IT exports. New age incubation centres will be set up in nine engineering colleges each receiving Rs 40 lakh over three years outside Bangalore, while hackathons will be conducted in Bagalkot, Tumkur and Dharwad districts to include rural youth in the state's IT story.