In a bid to nurture Indian startups working in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Google on Tuesday introduced the India chapter of its global 'Launchpad Accelerator' mentorship programme.
The three-month Launchpad Accelerator India programme has been designed to grow the AI/ML ecosystem by helping the country's startups build scalable solutions for India's unique problems.
The programme, based out of Bengaluru, will provide a cohort of 8-10 Indian startups mentorship and support from the best of Google in AI/ML, Cloud, UX, Android, Web, product strategy and marketing, along with up to $100,000 (roughly Rs. 69 lakhs) of Google Cloud credits, the company said in a statement.
"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.
Over the years, Google says it has worked with some incredible startups across India who are using advanced technologies such as AI/ML to tackle everything from agri-tech to language Web, healthcare, and transportation.
"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.
Applications for the first class is open till July 31 and the first class will start in September 2018.
In an effort to mentor emerging startups, Google India hosted a four-day boot camp for the first 10 Indian startups as part of its 'Solve for India' programme.
The India-focused accelerator programme is building on Google's Solve for India roadshow from last year.
Ten Indian startups were shortlisted from across India which underwent four days in one-on-one consults with experts from Google and mentors from the industry to solve critical product and growth challenges.
"We shortlisted 10 startups from 160 home-grown startups by travelling across 15 cities in India, and are now ready to scale this pilot as a dedicated programme for India," Karthik Padmanabhan, Developer Relations Lead, Google India, said at that time.
The participants were the founders of startups including Nebulaa, Slang Labs, PregBuddy, LegalDesk, PaySack, Vokal, FarMart, Meesho, Pratilipi, and M-Indicator.
Launchpad regional accelerators are tailored specifically to their local markets, helping startups build great products, Google said.