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The business of big ideas: A Bengaluru story

Talent, capital, infrastructure and the city’s celebrated entrepreneurial spirit shaped conversations in the panel, titled ‘Bengaluru as the World’s Tech and Entrepreneurship Hub’.
Last Updated 17 February 2024, 11:21 IST

Bengaluru: The Bengaluru model of innovation and entrepreneurship cannot be replicated in other cities in Karnataka unless the niche capabilities of these cities are leveraged, Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT/BT, said here on Saturday.

He was addressing possibilities of the Bengaluru formula of success in the Hubballis and Belagavis of the state, during a panel discussion at the DH Bengaluru 2040. There is no guaranteed recipe for success but what will work everywhere is a combination of the right skill-sets, education, incubation ecosystem and small centres of excellence that foster entrepreneurship, he said.

The idea is to not force-fit the Bengaluru ecosystem on other cities. “Bengaluru is the fourth largest technology cluster in the world. It did not happen overnight, it took four decades. What we can try is to reduce that period for the other cities,” Kharge said.

The minister noted that successive governments contributed to Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem. Proactive policies have ensured steady investment in skilling and grants to about 900 startups. The government has also been exploring, through programmes like Beyond Bengaluru, other cities based on their unique industrial potential, like Mangaluru and its animation and fintech capabilities, and Mysuru as a hub of global capability centres.

Talent, capital, infrastructure and the city’s celebrated entrepreneurial spirit shaped conversations in the panel, titled ‘Bengaluru as the World’s Tech and Entrepreneurship Hub’. The discussion was moderated by Manu Saale, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India.

Talent as capital

The Bengaluru story is also of an ecosystem that facilitates the right connections with the right people, Sunil Kumar Gupta, CEO and co-founder of quantum-safe cybersecurity company QNu Labs, said. “If you get the right people and give them the right environment, they tend to breed talent,” he said.

The confidence of a common Bengalurean that he or she could be part of Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem is a pointer to the city’s increasingly democratised models of entrepreneurship, Madan Padaki, Founder and CEO, 1Bridge, said. The city is also seeing the emergence of a host of angel investors. “Despite the funding winter, good ideas with good entrepreneurs will always find capital here,” Padaki said.

Responding to a question from the audience, Kharge acknowledged cyber frauds as a serious threat. Noting that the state loses close to Rs one crore everyday to these frauds, he said awareness on cybersecurity and financial literacy was critical in the fight against cyber frauds.

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(Published 17 February 2024, 11:21 IST)

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