Start-up Ecosystem

Building Start-up Ecosystem in Tier-II & Tier-III Cities

According to United Nations reports, outside China & US, India has the largest start-up ecosystem in the World. Evolving dynamically over the last two decades, Indian startup ecosystem has emerged as an important engine for economic growth and generation of jobs. The rapid growth of tech startups in India is driven by evolving scalable technology, growth in number of funds / angels, growth in startup hubs (incubators / accelerators) and aspirational younger demography.

Though the startup ecosystem continues to thrive in major hubs like Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, Tier-2 cities are also emerging as source of innovation and entrepreneurship with a huge potential. We are witnessing increasing number of successful technology startups emerging from these smaller cities. In 2018 India registered 300 % growth in number of startups and 450 % growth in early-stage funding in startups across tier-II and tier-III cities.

But still there are many challenges the entrepreneurs face in these cities. The ecosystem, framework and organised support has to fully evolve to bring out the full potential, leading to socio-economic development and transformation of India.

The panel intends to discuss drivers and challenges to grow entrepreneurial ecosystem in tier-II and tier-III cities of India.

Panel discussion on Start-up Ecosystem

Date and time : 23/12/2019 5:30 - 6:30 PM


Ashok Shettar
Vice Chancellor
KLE Technological University, Hubballi


Dr. Ashok S. Shettar is Vice-Chancellor of KLE Technological University, Hubli.). He has ME and PhD in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Dr Shettar has over 35 years’ experience in engineering education and administration. As principal of BVB College of Engineering Technology from 2001 to 2015, he lead a comprehensive strategic reform process to transform BVB college to the status of University. He was a member of Higher Education council, Govt, of Karnataka, the Executive Council and Academic Council of Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belgaum. He is the founding Chairman of CII, North Karnataka Zone. His expertise lies in strategic planning and institutional development, Outcome Based Education framework, Engineering Education Research. He is Chairman of national level committee of AICTE on examination reforms. He has played an important role in establishing and growing “Centre for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ at KLE Tech, which has emerged as pioneering model to nurture entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tier-II cities of India. In 2018 he was honoured by Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) with ‘Techno-visionary’ lifetime achievement award.

Panelist 1

Balaji Holur
Senior Vice President
Samsung Research Institute, Bangalore


Balaji Srinivas Holur is Sr. Vice President & Distinguished scientist at Samsung Research India Bangalore leading embedded vision solutions & camera team. He has 27 years of experience in embedded system design and holds 50+ US patents in the areas of vision computing, sensor networks, and embedded intelligent solutions. He is a Samsung global leader managing the Innovative mobile products providing differentiating solutions in the vision & camera systems. Balaji Holur hold Master degrees from IIT Kanpur and Oklahoma State University. He was the founding member of a successful startup IP Mobile which was later acquired by Cisco Systems.

Panelist 2

Vivek Pawar
Founder and Chairman Emiritus
Sankalp Semiconductors, Hubballi


Vivek Pawar is currently CEO and Managing Trustee of Deshpande Foundation, Chairman Emeritus & Founder of Sankalp Semiconductor. Deshpande foundation is working in development sector to impact bottom of pyramid 1.1 Billion people through Agriculture, Micro-entrepreneurship and Skilling for employability. Vivek completed BE (E&T/C) from the College Of Engineering Pune (COEP) and MTech at IIT Kharagpur. He founded Sankalp in 2005 and over a span of 10 years he has established multiple centres across India and world such as Germany, Canada, California and Texas USA including 4 across India. Currently Sankalp with 900+ engineers is largest independent Analog semiconductor design service provider company in the world and is being acquired by HCL. Sankalp received number of awards including Global top 100 tech companies by Red Herring, Innovative Entrepreneur and Rajyotasava award. Prior to Sankalp Vivek worked in Texas Instruments India and USA, for 15 years in various management positions, and was responsible for developing global innovative chip products with many rewards and recognitions. Vivek is currently mentored/ing 10+ start-ups in High Technology domain. He is also Founding Trustee of KLETech-CTIE which has enabled 80+ Tech start-ups in last 10 years. Currently 30+ start-ups are in campus as unique start-up incubation model for India, which is been replicated in many Tier-II cities in India.

Panelist 3

Raj Gupta
Daksha Imaging Technologies


Dr. Raj Gupta is a Founder of Daksha Imaging Technologies and Solution Architect and Engineering Manager at MulticoreWare Inc. He has published conference papers in Computer Vision area. His current research and application interests are in Sensor Fusion, Object Detection, Pose Estimation and Face Recognition. His startup works video surveillance domain to provide reliable storage and fusion information. He has done his Ph.D. from IIT Madras under the supervision of Prof Anurag Mittal.

Panelist 4

Altaf Ganihar
Founder and CEO at Snaptrude, Bangalore


Founder & CEO at Snaptrude ( Snaptrude is a smart design tool that helps architects convert hand sketches to 3D BIM drawings instantly and save weeks to even months worth of efforts in the manual design process. Snaptrude is attempting to disrupt the CAD/BIM market dominated by large incumbent players with a cloud-based solution that is 10x faster than current generation design tools. Snaptrude has users spread across 9 countries and has raised several rounds of investment from venture capital firm Accel Partners along with Brigade Group and other investors.
Altaf Ganihar completed his under graduation in electronics engineering from BVB College of Engineering & Technology (Now KLE Technological University) from the year 2015. Altaf Ganihar is an active researcher in applied geometry, computer graphics & computer vision domains with 3 international patents, 10 international research publications and contribution to a book chapter. Altaf Ganihar is actively involved in mentoring early-stage technology startups and also consults for fortune 100 companies in the CAD & geometry domain.