Karnataka govt grants $1.5 mn to 26 biotech startups

The Karnataka government, as part of its startup initiative, has awarded Rs 10 crore ($1.5 million) in grants to 26 biotechnology startups, a statement by the Department of IT (information technology), BT (biotechnology) and Tourism stated.

The government disbursed the grants to the startups under its Idea to Proof of Concept (Idea2POC) Grant Scheme, which is part of the broader Karnataka Startup Policy 2015-20. The startups had participated in a pitching session conducted by Idea2POC.

The fund corpus under Idea2PoC is dedicated to startups in the fields of technology, agriculture and tourism. The funds will be given in the form of grant-in-aid, but limited to a one-time grant of Rs 50 lakh, and will be released in tranches based on the lifecycle of the business plan.

“The scheme is designed to identify, mentor and fund enterprising biotech startups in Karnataka who can create a deep social impact on the lives of people of Karnataka. We use a team-approach in mentoring and that gives the entrepreneurs different perspectives,” said Priyank Kharge, minister of state for IT, BT & Tourism, government of Karnataka.

In March this year, the Karnataka government had funded eight tourism startups between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50 lakh as part of its multi-sectoral startup policy. It had announced the $1.5 million (Rs 10 crore) Idea2POC fund on International Women’s Day.

In July last year, the state government launched initiatives to mobilise up to Rs 2,000 crore ($333 million) by 2020 to invest in startups across sectors, from technology to social impact. The government aims to help and nurture 20,000 startups by 2020, of which it envisages 6,000 to be product-based firms.

Some of the other startup investment vehicles of the Karnataka government include KITVEN Fund (Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund), AVGC (animation, visual effects, gaming and comics) fund and a social impact initiative called ‘Channelising Innovation for Social Impact’.

Below are 10 of the 26 startups that received the grants, all of which received grants worth Rs 49 lakh:

Bendflex Research & Development Pvt Ltd: This medical devices company develops mechanical biomarkers for in-vitro fertilization.

Omix Research and Diagnostics Laboratories Pvt Ltd: Omix is looking to develop a tool for the detection and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance among urinary tract infections.

Aprus Biomedical Innovations Pvt Ltd: The company is looking to develop an advanced wound care device for treating recalcitrant diabetic ulcers.

Nesa Medtech Pvt Ltd: This company develops an affordable and minimally invasive therapeutic procedure to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids in reproductive women.

Pentavalent Bio Sciences Private Limited: The company’s product is a DNA cassette-based decision-making tool for treating tuberculosis patients.

Lumisoft Technologies Pvt Ltd: The company is developing a potable digital slit lamp that can diagnose 70% of conditions causing blindness.

DF3D CREATIONS Pvt Ltd: The company is developing a cloud-based pre-surgical planning platform that leverages 3D printing technology to create patient-specific models and surgical guides.

Hanugen Therapeutics Private Limited: The company supplies anti-sense oligonucleotides, which is used for treating genetic disorders and infections.

Terra Blue Exploration Technologies Pvt Ltd: The company is developing a solution to predict and manage epilepsy.

Next Big Innovation Labs Pvt Ltd: The company is looking to develop India’s first 3D bio-printer and its medical applications.

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