New Delhi: Google has launched its India-focused programme Launchpad Accelerator to mentor startups that use artificial intelligence and machine learning.
According to the company, Launchpad Accelerator will bring on board eight or ten startups that focus on issues specific to the country, in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture and fintech. The initiative comes after the technology giant ran a pilot project in Bengaluru last year named “Solve for India", which helped startups build and scale their products.
Google has an accelerator in San Francisco for startups across all countries along with region-specific programmes in India, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo and Africa. The California-headquartered company plans to invest $20 million annually in building startups around the globe.
Google has mentored 600-650 Indian startups since 2015 under its global programme, according to Paul Ravindranath G, programme manager, Launchpad Accelerator, Google India. These include home rental startup Nestaway, hyper-local discovery app Magicpin and car rental startup JustRide.
“India has been one of the early adopters of machine learning. It is an interesting opportunity for us to see how developers and startups utilise this technology (AI and ML) to build their products and companies," said Roy Glasberg, founder, Global Launchpad.
As a part of the three-month accelerator programme, the startups will undergo two weeks of training in Bengaluruunder Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India; Peter Norwig, research director at Google;Yossi Mitias, vice-president engineering at Google; and Dan Ariely, professor, behavioural economics, Duke University. The Indian mentorship programme aims to tap advanced stage startups that struggle between the post-seed and Series A funding round, according to Glasberg.
The Google accelerator team includes a network of investors, industry experts and technical professionals who will train the startups in leadership, user experience and interface, marketing, and AI along with machine learning, added Ravindranath G.
The first batch of the accelerator starts in September this year and the mentorship program will be held quarterly.