Karnataka’s small towns, even villages are raising startup ideas


Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi

If Bengaluru is the start-up capital of India, even tier two and tier three cities in Karnataka are bubbling with startup ideas – from its infancy.

Whether it’s making a degradable mask that grows into plants, or using artificial intelligence to detect crop diseases to help farmers, designing a solar-powered two-wheeler for the physically challenged, or an affordable eggshell-based nutrition option. due to lack of protein, the youth of the state came up with interesting and innovative startup ideas that could work.

Hence, 15 out of 3,000 start-up ideas from the youth of Raichur, Dakshin Kannada and Rural Bengaluru were selected to receive Rs 100,000 each in seed money, the help of a mentor and their start-up to six people. months as part of UNDP’s Project Code Unnat. More than 3,000 young people applied for the Youth Innovation Challenge and 1,000 of them made it to the innovation booth camp.

One of the winners, Reena Edna D Souza, 27, Dakshina Kannada, School of Social Work, was thrilled to be recognized for her idea and the help she received.

“Such entrepreneurs are most vulnerable when we are in the research and development phase. Here we need financial and moral support to realize our ideas. The seed money and mentorship from UNDP, SAP Labs and KSDC will help me scale up my idea of ​​making eco-friendly seed masks to minimize waste and of course to correct the ecological fallout of the use and throw away culture,” he told DH.

His initial idea was to manufacture and market an environmentally friendly seed mask.

“I had a great experience presenting my ideas in front of the jury and learned a lot. Code Unnati gave me a platform to express my thoughts. I was very passionate about cars and always wanted to work in the same field. Now, with the guidance of my team and mentors, I’ve learned to stand up and challenge someone I believe in. When my startup is getting this recognition, I feel people might say, “Kiran has achieved something in life,” said 29-year-old Kiranraj Anandan, Bengaluru Rural, Acharya Institute of Technology.

His start-up idea, Atomz Power, an Internet-based smart power solution with extensive networks for battery charging facilities as well, was one of the programs to support.

Selection was based on the performance of the Bootcamp participants and the strength of their ideas, 305 youth were shortlisted for the district level pitch and five from each of the three districts of Raichur, Dakshin Kannada and Rural Bengaluru were declared Youth Winners. Challenge.

These 15 winners were felicitated on August 12 on International Youth Day at a function organized by the Government of Karnataka, UNDP and SAP Labs India.

Amit Kumar, Head of India’s Inclusive Growth, UNDP, said, “The UNDP-SAP partnership project Code Unnati continues its efforts in three focus areas to identify and awaken the entrepreneurial potential of the youth. On this International Youth Day, with the support of the state government and KSDC, we take great satisfaction in nurturing young women and men dreams whose innovative start-ups take on some of our most pressing concerns in sustainable agriculture, transportation, pollution, and energy.”

Dr. S Selvakumar IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Karnataka said, “The Department of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood (SDEL) has been established by the Government of Karnataka to help the youth of Karnataka acquire skills and expertise to improve employability. KSDC in collaboration with the Code Unnati project aims to adopt holistic skills and has planned and standardized curricula to support youth in key focus areas such as career guidance, counselling, 21st century skills and entrepreneurship.The initiative is also aligned with the objectives of Mission Yuva Samruddhi (Karnataka Skills & Entrepreneurship Task Force).The Code Unnati team works closely with KSDC to in institutional implementation at state and district level.

Since 2020, UNDP India and SAP Labs India have collaborated to promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship in their Code Unnati project. The project aims to improve access to entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for 20,000 youth and 5,000 women in three districts of Karnataka – Bengaluru Rural, Dakshina Kannada and Raichur.

“The youth of India has a huge potential which should be nurtured by governments and institutions. Through the Code Unnati project, UNDP, KSDC and SAP Labs India have enabled young entrepreneurs to hone their business skills. Congratulations to the 15 winners for their innovations. I am sure the seed money will help them scale their innovative solutions to address some of the pressing issues in their communities, including renewable energy, health, nutrition and agriculture, said Shoko Noda, UNDP representative.

(Lakshmana Venkat Kuchi is a senior reporter who covers social, economic and political issues and is also interested in sports. He has worked with prominent news organizations.)

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