Cluster seed funds for startups in Mysuru, other tier 2 cities to boost entrepreneurship

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission CEO Sanjeev Gupta said here on Saturday that the tier-two cities were emerging as economic drivers and the startup ecosystems were set to flourish well in the days ahead.

He was speaking at the Eduskill Conference 2023 organised by the ANZ-India Business Chamber and Excelsoft on the theme of ‘’Education, Skill Development and EduTech: The evolving new triangle of opportunities’’.

Mr. Gupta said during the last 20 months almost 40 companies have been brought to the three clusters comprising Mysuru, Mangaluru, Belagavi-Hubballi, and Dharwad through the initiative of the KDEM and the aim was to increase the numbers.

He said though the startups are growing in tier 1 cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, etc, the economy of tier 2 and emerging cities like Mysuru, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Hubballi-Dharwad is growing and the government as an enabler, wants to facilitate the creation of a mature startup ecosystem in tier 2 cities as well.

He said the State was coming up with the concept of democratisation of entrepreneurship under which anyone can aspire to be an entrepreneur and the government would act as facilitators for which a cluster seed fund of ₹25 crore each has been dedicated to Mysuru, Mangaluru, Belagavi, and Hubballi-Dharwad cluster.

In this context he said Mysuru already had companies in the areas of edutech, healthcare, aerospace, defence, robotics and IoT etc and going forward the University of Mysore also had an important role to play in fostering the ecosystem.

Prof. N.K. Lokanath, Vice Chancellor, University of Mysore, spoke of necessary skills in the workplace and the need for upskilling, cross-skilling, and special knowledge skills. The student community would do well to choose one or two skills sets and break them into manageable goals instead of aspiring to master all of them, he added.

The Vice-Chancellor said the government was also laying emphasis on skill development by launching various schemes and the main objective was to empower the youth of the country with adequate skill sets that will make them employable in the relevant sectors and improve productivity. He said the India Skill Development Report 2023 reveals improvement in overall employability among young people from 46.2 per cent to 50.3 per cent this year.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event K.S. Sudheer, who heads the KDEM Mysuru cluster, said there are a lot of edutech companies in Mysuru, and KDEM has signed an MoU with UNESCO- MGIEP to make Mysuru a metaverse hub for creating digitally immersive content to make learning easy. “But for this to happen a lot of building blocks have to be in place and they are taking shape now,” he added.

On the startup ecosystem in Mysuru, Mr. Sudheer said there were more than 130 startups in Mysuru of which 30 were really serious and had the potential to grow. Ulike in the past lack of capital is not an issue as there is cluster seed fund available, he added.

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