Flipkart launches startup accelerator programme with 16-week mentorship, $25,000 grant

The accelerator programme, called Flipkart Leap, will have a deeper engagement with startups which have innovative solutions connected to the consumer internet space
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Flipkart, India’s leading ecommerce marketplace, has for the first time launched its startup accelerator programme called Flipkart Leap.

The company said the shortlisted startups will undergo a 16-week intensive mentorship and will be provided with a $25,000 (Rs 18.75 lakh approx.) equity free grant.

The startup accelerator programme of the ecommerce giant aims to help new and upcoming startups grow, scale, and navigate challenges, which in turn will contribute to the country's entrepreneurial ecosystem, according to statement. This is also expected to support the Startup India initiative.

Flipkart Leap has identified five themes to shortlist relevant high-potential startups from both B2B and B2C space. These include design and Make for India, innovation in digital commerce, technologies to empower the retail ecosystem, supply chain management & logistics, and enabling relevant deep tech applications.

On the launch, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group said, “The journey for Flipkart, from its launch to becoming one of the most-loved homegrown brands, has been a true harbinger of the potential of the startup ecosystem in India. With innovations and disruptions in the field of technology coming about each day, we want to be at the forefront of driving scalability and helping these startups bring value to the industry as well as Indian consumers.”

He further said, “Flipkart Leap is aimed at unlocking this potential and nurturing new ideas that bring innovation, curiosity and unconventionality to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, while boosting the government’s ‘Start-Up India’ initiative.”

During the 16-week virtual mentorship programme for the selected startups, Flipkart’s leadership from business, operations, product, and technology will mentor the selected startups and share best practices, in addition to master class sessions hosted by industry experts.

Jeyandran Venugopal, chief product and Technology Officer, Flipkart

Jey Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart, said, “The transformation of the startup ecosystem in India over the years has paved the way for the country to become home to some of the best startup journeys. There is a growing talent pool of entrepreneurs who are going above and beyond to bring their solutions to the market.

Jey further said, “As a company that has undergone that phase and built its own success playbook, we wanted to utilise our network to build a programme that helps startups in these early stages to evolve and become successful brands in future.”

The startups applying for Flipkart Leap should be based out of India, and should have a working prototype with early adoption metrics. After the completion of the programme, the final participants of Flipkart Leap will pitch their successful model to investors, corporates, and other ecosystem players on the demo-day and may also be considered for funding by Flipkart.

Last year, Flipkart launched its venture fund to back early-stage startups with a size of around $100 million. Now, this fund will be utilised to support these early-stage startups.

According to Jey, Flipkart has always been engaged with the startups in the country, but with the launch of this programme, it has further formalised the structure.

“We always look at supporting and encouraging startups, which are differentiated in their offerings. This programme will be a deep immersive experience,” Jey said.

Edited by Megha Reddy