Google on Friday announced a new “Solve for India” initiative that aims to expand and energise the startup ecosystem in tier-2 cities across the country.
The programme aims to inspire new wave of entrepreneurs and startups in emerging cities like Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kochi, Indore, Nagpur, Nashik, Madurai, Kanpur, as well as Kolkata and Chennai.
Speaking about the initiative, Karthik Padmanabhan, Program Manager Lead for Google India, said, “Majority of India’s Internet users are Indian language users, and over 80 percent of them access the Internet from their mobile phones. But the current Indian startup ecosystem is building products for English speaking audience and caters only to 15% of the population. There are growing number of entrepreneurs in smaller Indian cities who are focusing on building solutions that caters to the real needs of India. Through this initiative we want to bring the best of Google under one program and join forces with them to help create solutions that serves the needs of a billion Indians.”
Developers and entrepreneurs will get access to a variety of Google programmes, including the Google Launchpad mentoring programme which will help them to build, scale and accelerate early stage product ideas, and take them to the next level. The Launchpad accelerator program comes with six month mentorship program along with $50,000 (roughly Rs. 32 lakhs) equity-free investments. Google says it will also provide over $20,000 (roughly Rs. 12.8 lakhs) of Google cloud credits.
Developers will have the opportunity to lear from the experts in across the areas of Android, Firebase, Machine learning, Cloud APIs, Progressive Web Apps, and Indian language translation solutions.