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Google has announced the commencement of Launchpad Accelerator India, their new mentorship programme for Indian startups deploying Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build solutions for India’s local needs.

Based out of Bengaluru, the initiative will start as a three-month accelerator that will mentor Indian startups while allowing them access to Google’s resources, such as people, network, and technologies. Applications are open for the first class until July 31. The first class is scheduled to begin in September 2018, where shortlisted startups will have the chance to attend a two week in-person bootcamp.

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“India has the appetite to build entrepreneurs of the future and we are proud to announce a focused programme for the next wave of Indian entrepreneurs, who are using new technologies to solve the country’s needs,” said Roy Glasberg, Global Launchpad Founder.

For the classes, Google is looking for Indian startups based in technology preferably with raised seed funding. The startup should also be involved in an India-specific challenge, using advanced AI or ML technology.

“With the dedicated India-only Launchpad Accelerator programme, we will be able to build a bridge between startups and the industry ecosystem and support them to drive innovation in the India market,” Glasberg added.

Every class will comprise up to ten startups and they will be supported by Google in AI/ML, Cloud, UX, Android, Web, product strategy and marketing. The lucky startups will also get Google Cloud Credits starting from USD 20,000 to USD 100,000 each.

“We look forward to welcome the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Accelerator India and will continue to support them to drive innovation for India”, Paul Ravindranath, Regional Lead, Launchpad Accelerator, Google India said in a blog.

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Google’s Launchpad has been supporting hundreds of India startups over the last three and half years. So far, 30 Indian startups have benefitted from Google’s global Launchpad Accelerator programme, raising more than USD 70 million. Google has both short format startup mentorship activities like Launchpad Start and the 6-month long global Launchpad Accelerator.

India’s growing startup ecosystem has attracted Google enough for them to launch the India-only pilot ‘Solve for India’ last year, which helped startups using the latest technologies to solve India’s needs. With the chosen startups in this programme, Google also hosted a “Solve for India” mentorship boot camp, which gave startup founders to discuss and brainstorm technology and growth with Google experts and mentors. Startups that have been supported by Google are Nebulaa, Slang Labs, PregBuddy, LegalDesk, PaySack, Vokal, FarMart, Meesho, Pratilipi, and M-Indicator.


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