Karnataka will soon have modern incubation centres, tinkering labs, state-of-the-art innovation centres and co-working spaces setup for startups. The project, being called a ‘startup coast’ is a first of its kind and is being partly funded by Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
Nirmala Sitharaman, Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka and the Minister for Commerce and Industry has initiated the project to provide a complete ecosystem for startups. She believes that there is a rich talent pool in the region and if provided with the right ecosystem, it could thrive further.
Sitharaman told PTI, “As an MP from Karnataka, I will invest my efforts to make sure that I can support the development of physical and human infrastructure necessary for innovation to thrive in the area. This shall be the first step towards shaping the ‘startup coast’ of India.”
The project first started with the idea of making Mangalore India’s first startup district but is now being extended to north Karnataka and will include Udupi and Karwar districts. The complete eco-system is expected to be in place within the next two years and will be known as “startup coast”.
The co-working spaces are expected to be in place by December this year and will be leased to professionals.
Reportedly, the startup coast eco-system will include a 100-seater co-working space for budding entrepreneurs in Mangalore, two innovation centres, about five incubation centres in colleges and about 20-30 tinkering labs in schools.
Multiple schools have even applied for Atal Tinkering Laboratories, under the Atal Innovation Mission, with Niti Aayog and are it will be set up in various schools across the startup coast.
The innovation centres are expected to come up at the National Institute of Technology in Surathkal and NMAM Institute of Technology under Nitte University. The commerce ministry team is seeking assistance from Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala from IIT-Madras for this.
The shift to Mangalore as the emerging centre for budding entrepreneurs came about with the claim that Bangalore is gradually saturating for startups. The ministry is taking several steps to create a business-friendly environment where startups can flourish.