With a view to helping startups in Karnataka elevate through a comprehensive entrepreneurship platform, the Karnataka government's Startup Karnataka Initiative is back with its annual grand Elevate 100 incubation programme. The ministry of information technology (IT) and biotechnology (BT) and science and technology (S&T), Karnataka, has shortlisted 77 startups out of 250 finalists for Elevate 2018.\r\n\r\nApart from a funding amount of up to $68.6K to each, the shortlisted startups will be incubated at various incubation centres based in Bengaluru, Hubbali, Mysore, Belgaum, and other cities in the state.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe programme is a part of the Startup Karnataka initiative of the ministry of IT-BT and S&T. In 2017, 112 startups had been shortlisted out of 1,700 applicants for the first cohort of Elevate 100. This year, the programme received more than 600 applications from across the state from a variety of technology startups.\r\n\r\nOf these, 500 startups were selected after a multi-city pitching and a final shortlist of over 250 were invited to present their final pitches. However, only 246 startups participated in the final pitch, of which 77 have been shortlisted for the second cohort of Elevate 2018.\r\nAbout 25% of all qualified startups are women-led, and of these, over 95% are organisations where women are co-founders or CXOs.\r\nThe government has earmarked a sum of $3.25 Mn towards the funding of these startups, of which a special $270K has been set aside for startups from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.\r\n\r\nKJ George, minister of IT&BT, said, \u201cThis initiative will provide an opportunity for young people with brilliant ideas to scale up their solutions. And by helping these tech geniuses reach their potential, we hope that the state of Karnataka will also be able to scale new heights when it comes to technology.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThe state is a leader when it comes to human development in the country. Technology will help us reach greater heights. It is my firm belief that with technology, we can find solutions to real-world problems that plague us today \u2014 who knows, maybe we will be able to help find the solution to the traffic problem of Bengaluru or find innovative ways to deal with garbage in the state,\u201d the minister said.\r\n\r\nThe startups were to present their final pitches on Tuesday (September 11). The startups selected for the final pitches are devising technology-based solutions in sectors such as biotech, healthcare, agritech, fintech, logistics, SAAS, urban design and smart cities, and e-commerce. They have been selected from several rounds in several cities such as Mysuru, Hubbali, Mangaluru, Kalaburgi, and Bengaluru.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe initiative will also match promising startups with mentors, whose critique will help young entrepreneurs reach their business and social potential.\r\n\r\n\u201cA lot of entrepreneurs have ideas that are great, but what can help them really shine is the right guidance from the right people. That is also what we will be providing at the incubator at Elevate 2018,\u201d said Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, the department of IT-BT.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe right funding at the right time is important for startups, and so is the right mentorship. Through Elevate, the Government of Karnataka will ensure that innovators in the state are not lacking in either,\u201d he added.\r\n\r\nKarnataka is one of the leading states when it comes to having a robust startup ecosystem, with hundreds of startups mushrooming here every year. The Karnataka government\u2019s Elevate incubation programme is a great platform to help elevate these startups to the next level of entrepreneurship.