Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), along with the Department of Electronics, IT, BT, and ST of the Karnataka government, conducted ‘Mangaluru Blue’ event in Mangaluru on Saturday.

This event, which was held as part of its ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ initiative of KDEM, is aimed at connecting start-ups from ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ clusters with potential investors and to ensure equitable access to capital and foster innovation in emerging clusters.

The ‘Mangaluru Blue’ event witnessed registrations from 35 start-ups. After a preliminary screening process, 15 finalists were selected, and they pitched their ideas before a panel of investors and venture capitalists (VCs).

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KDEM onboarded prominent VCs and industry anchors who served as the grand jury for the final evaluation on Saturday. Manish Kumar, Assistant Vice President of KITVEN; Shylaja Rao, General Partner at Ventana Ventures; Sandeep Aithal, Principal, Investments at Infosys; and Prashanth Shenoy Katpady, CTO and Co-Founder of UniCourt, Mangaluru were part of the grand jury.

Following were the top fund-ready start-ups at ‘Mangakuru Blue’ after the collective evaluation of the jury: Bucolic Kailash Agritech and FMCG Pvt Ltd; Remiteazy Technologies LLP; Tiny Prism Labs Pvt Ltd; and Trachealth Technologies Pvt Ltd.

The top fund-ready start-ups secured complimentary booths at the Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS), and priority pitching access for the Mangaluru Cluster Seed Fund and the Karnataka Acceleration Network programme.

The top 15 start-ups secured the all-access passes to the BTS 2023 scheduled from November 29 to December 1. They will also be provided a start-up showcase table at the Mangaluru Technovanza, which is scheduled in December.

Sanjeev Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of KDEM, said KDEM’s ‘Blue’ initiative serves as a vital link, transcending beyond a mere event, to forge connections between the aspirations of startups in emerging clusters and the essential resources they require for success.

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“While our commitment lies in working with the local ecosystem and creating a global platform for start-ups, our objective is to build a robust ecosystem of new angel investors and mentor networks for these start-ups to scale global heights,” he said.

Prashanth Shenoy, Co-Founder and CTO of UniCourt, Mangaluru, said ‘Mangaluru Blue’ is an excellent opportunity for start-ups in the ‘Silicon Beach of India’—from Dakshina Kannada, to Udupi and to Karwar—to showcase their innovation and business model in front of a jury and have a chance at winning the Cluster Seed Fund to propel their businesses further. From fintech, agritech to drones and IoT start-ups the region has them all, he said.