Facebook to focus on AI startups for its India Accelerator Program
The program will support a cohort of AI startups that have an outsized social impact potential and focus on building technology to solve complex social problems.Rashi Varshney
Facebook has started inviting applications for its India Innovation Accelerator Program 2019. This is the second edition of the accelerator program, which will focus on AI focused startups working to create social impact, the social network said in a statement.
The program, which runs in partnership with T-Hub in India, will support a cohort of AI startups that have an outsized social impact potential and focus on building technology to solve complex social problems in the domains of Empowerment of Women and Girls, Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Climate Change, Resilient Cities, etc.
Adding to this, Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia, said that, "We believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one such technology that can solve problems important for the society and help to find right solutions."
"With the second edition of the India Innovation Accelerator program, we want to help build the ecosystem for AI in India and support startups with the resources and opportunities they would need to succeed. We aim to bring our industry knowledge and technical know-how to take their ideas to the next level," said Satyajeet.
Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub, said the first edition of the India Innovation Accelerator program last year was a great success, where it scouted innovative startups in the AR/VR/MR industries. "We are excited to partner again with Facebook for the second time, and working with some of the best startups in India in AI for social good space," he said.
Startups accepted into the program will participate in a curriculum of activities specifically designed to support product development, growth, and expansion to new markets. Facebook will provide technical expertise, mentorship, training on the use of Facebook products and tools, free access to a suite of products and services, and access to experts within the company. The startups will also have access to T-Hub’s network of mentors, industry experts, investors, service providers and will be allowed an opportunity to attract funding for their business during the Demo Day at the end of the program. The call for application to participate in the program closes on June 2, 2019.
The startups should meet the following minimum eligibility criteria for the programme:
• At least one full-time employee with some initial market traction.
• A product or service that provides a functionality/capability that is not currently available in any off the shelf product, or a functionality/capability that can be demonstrated to possess a significant advantage over current offerings in some aspect.
• Product or service that represents original ideas, wholly-owned with freedom to use or is licensed by the team.
• A team that is based in India, and is working to serve the Indian market. Teams aren’t limited to working in India, but must have customers in India.
• Formed or is a part of a recognised, legal entity for the company structure.