To supplement its ongoing endeavours to embrace tech startups and developers, Google plans to offer a six-month training and hands-on support programme to high-potential startups in India, Brazil and Indonesia, to build high quality apps and successful businesses.
As part of the programme, which is called Launchpad Accelerator, developers will be connected with Google professionals and world-class mentors, and also get access to equity-free funding (up to $50,000 per startup) to help them quickly scale and reach their potential.
Google is undoubtedly the undisputed king of search on the web. According to Netmarketshare, Google has 70.69 per cent of the global market share for search (on web), while Bing, its nearest competitor, stands at 12.14 per cent. Now with ‘smartphones and apps gaining prominence in both developed and developing countries, Google is looking to capture the mobile market as well.
Though it owns Android, monetising through ads route has not been easy on mobile devices. In November, Google announced that over the course of the last two years it had created over 100 billion deep links into its app index to make mobile search easier. It is also announced a feature that would allow users to ‘stream’ apps that they haven’t installed on their phone.
Through its initiative Google Launchpad, the tech giant has been offering resources, technology and expertise to startups and developers to help design, develop and distribute their apps. The Launchpad programme includes a number of activities and events which have been hosted in more than 30 countries. Google claims the programme has benefited over 8,000 startups.
Google hand-picked the three countries for the following reasons: Indonesia is a mobile-first nation and the fourth largest country in the world, with 255 million people; Brazil with a population of 200 million people has a rapidly growing internet base and faces many challenges. As for India, Google notes-
India has over 600 million mobile users today, and this number is growing fast. If you're based in India and developing an app to address India’s greatest challenges, then let’s work together! Join us in Bengaluru for six months to accelerate your app!
The first wave of the accelerator programme kicks off on January 18 in Mountain View, California, where over 20 pre-selected startups will meet for two weeks of programming. The current list includes eight Indian startups. Afterwards, each startup will return to their home country where mentorship will be an ongoing process, both locally and remotely, for the remainder of the programme. The startups will also receive credit for a range of Google services, as well as free co-working space. In the coming month, Google plans to expand its Accelerator to more countries.
Google is currently accepting new applications for the next round of the programme, which begins mid-2016.