Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 405 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon galleryworld music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

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The three-day Bengaluru Tech Summit, an international celebration of innovation and technology, has kicked off in the Palace Grounds this week. Now in its 22nd edition, the conference and exhibition have international participation from 22 countries – including the Netherlands, the UK, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, and Vietnam.

The conference agenda features a wide range of topics: 5G, industrial IoT, deep genomics, ethical AI, smart agriculture, health-tech, and virtual media production. Mechanisms and frameworks of superclusters, industry competitiveness, drone regulations, and bilateral cooperation are also on the agenda.

Awards will be given to winners in IT exports and bio-tech excellence. Other features are a Rural IT Quiz, Robot Competition, Poster Zone for young researchers, and a closing concert by Raghu Dixit.

There are special Startup Impact sessions for entrepreneurs as well, such as growth strategies, monetisation drivers, and building an insurmountable moat. Accel Partners and Ankur Capital are conducting a ‘PitchTuning’ session for startups on how to fundraise effectively.

“Karnataka is moving towards becoming an innovation hub, a gradual shift from the services sector to product development,” said BS Yediyurappa, Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka, in the inaugural session.

Bengaluru has produced nine of the 27 unicorns in the country (including Byju’s, Ola, Udaan, and Swiggy), and is regarded as the “Innovation Capital of India.” Bengaluru was ranked No. 11 globally in the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019 by StartupBlink.

“Innovation today is taking a multidisciplinary approach involving dynamic collaboration among different stakeholders. The role of innovation, science and technology is critical to finding solutions to a range of societal challenges and creating jobs,” according to C N Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister.

The state’s New Age Innovation Network (NAIN) focussing on smaller cities now spans 30 engineering institutions in Karnataka. A Global Innovation Alliances Market Access Program’ (GIA MAP) has also been launched, for exchange of startups between Bengaluru and international startup hubs.

“While India is the largest startup destination in the world, Karnataka is the largest IT and ITES destination in the world. It is also the most preferred destination for IT R&D,” said Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI.

“By 2020, Bengaluru will have two million people working in IT, ITES and startups, thanks to the vibrant innovation system prevalent in the state. The city also has the richest human capital in India. It is important for us to create a global network as a community of cities which drive innovation,” urged Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital and Manipal Global Education Services.

“Innovation is increasingly happening at the intersection of technologies and industries. There is an urgent need to invest more in R&D for technologies that can benefit the poorest of the poor,” advised S. Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Vision Group on IT and Co-founder of Infosys.

“Karnataka is home to the largest cluster of first-generation entrepreneurs. This has led to a technology explosion and Bengaluru becoming the tech capital of India with two million software engineers and 250,000 bioscientists,” observed Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Vision Group on Biotechnology, and Managing Director, Biocon.

“The biotech industry has created 957 startups over the last 12 months. Bengaluru is being looked seriously as an IT-led diagnosis centre focussed on emerging technologies such as ML and AI,” she added. Bengaluru is increasingly being looked at as a research partner for drug research and diagnosis.

“The startup sector requires risk capital that caters to deep science and deep tech. For deep tech startups to emerge, we need solid corridors of innovation,” urged Prashant Prakash, Partner, Accel Partners, and Chairman, Karnataka Vision Group on Startups. This can be reinforced through special Centres of Excellence, and a proposed Elevate Program for Deep Tech Startups.

In the presence of the Deputy Mayor of The Hague, the Netherlands, Saskia Bruines, the Karnataka Hague Innovation Corridor MoU was signed with the Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka. It renews existing collaboration in the fields of health, cybersecurity, agri-tech and peace and justice.

Proposed activities include tech innovation facilitation and startup exchanges. “We see a lot of potential in connecting these ecosystems to work together on joint innovative solutions,” said Consul-General of The Netherlands, Gert Heijkoop.

In addition to the high-level discussions in the conference halls, there is lots of energy and buzz in the BTS exhibition area as well. See Part I and Part II of our startup showcase from BTS 2018, as well as this year’s photo essays on entrepreneurs exhibiting at YourStory’s TechSparks and NASSCOM Product Conclave.

In this photo showcase, we feature teams from startups and ecosystem enablers in the Startup Innovation Zone, including Loudbox.io, Chowkidar, QtPi, FoodPrint, Kisan Drone, Bionic Yantra, BioMall, Srisha Robotics, Association of Biotechnology-Led Entrepreneurs, nSmiles, Mona Design, Global Investing, FitGa, Karmic Design, Novigo, KonectChat, TIME (IISc incubator), IIIT-B incubator, and STPI Pavilion.

Now, what have you done today to sense the strong winds of change, and find a way to use technology to your advantage?

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Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at [email protected]!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

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