‘Indian VCs super-inclined towards IT’

When most biotech start-ups in the country emerge out of thriving lifesciences hubs like Bangalore and Hyderabad, there are others who are quietly taking giant leaps out of the unlikely small towns and cities in Karnataka state


Dr S Thippeswamy, founder, chairman and MD, Dr Swamy’s Lab

With an unquenchable vision in the field of biological sciences, Dharwad-based Dr Swamy's Lab was set-up in 2012 in Karnataka, with an investment of Rs 1 crore, focusing primarily on molecular biology reagents and kits, biopharma, biofuels, molecular diagnostics, and instrumentation.

Initially the company was incubated at Institute of Agri-Biotechnology (IABT), University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad.

"Practically, small cities are very good for start-up biotech companies because they need a lot of incubation time. The minimum incubation period for a biotech start-up is anywhere between 5-6 years in small cities. This incubation time is very critical for its survival. Therefore, we chose Dharwad to be our starting place," justified Dr Thippeswamy.

After obtaining his PhD in Biochemistry from Gulbarga University in 2002, Dr S Thippeswamy, who is now the founder, chairman and MD of Dr Swamy's Lab, was selected as the candidate for DBT sponsored post-doctoral fellowship at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Dr Thippeswamy says that while planting his company, he faced enormous challenges in convincing his family, relatives and friends, who were the only primary channel of funding during the company's inception.


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