Google Launchpad, Search Engine Giant’s Startup Mentorship Program, Coming To India

 @KukilBora
on August 20 2014 4:33 AM
Google
The startups will be guided by nearly 20 mentors, half of who will be “Googlers” from California and Israel. Reuters

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will mentor startups in India as part of its successful mentorship program called “Google Launchpad.” The search engine giant has already identified more than 10 startups in the country to be part of the program, which is expected to enroll 25 companies.

Many senior executives from the company's offices in California and Israel will mentor local entrepreneurs over a period of five days starting Nov. 3 in the southern city of Bangalore, which is known as the country's technology hub. The startups will be coached by nearly 20 mentors on various subjects including technology, product strategy, user interfaces, user experiences and marketing. On the last day of the event, startups will have an opportunity to pitch venture capitalists and investors, Business Insider reported.

“Launchpad is an exhaustive mentorship program to help startups build at scale,” Sunil Rao, country head of the startup program at Google India, told Business Insider. “By next year we want to do this every quarter, and a year from then, we hope to do it every month.”

Some of the shortlisted startups are working in areas including financial services, computer graphics, online education and health care.

“We need people who can really implement the idea. We are also looking for those with a sound business plan and minimum product viability,” Rao said, adding that the startups were being identified based on the quality of the founding team.

The Google Launchpad mentorship program was first launched in Israel in December 2012, and more than a dozen such events have been held there since, including an event in Brazil.

“Google's Launchpad is a similarly innovative compressed bootcamp which will deliver access to world class experts, and knowledge to further help catalyze the Indian startup ecosystem. Launchpad resembles an accelerator on steroids and we would welcome more such programs,” Ravi Gururaj, chairman of the Nasscom Product Council, told Business Insider.

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