Google today announced the launch of Startup School India (SSI) as part of the Google for Startups initiative. This is a platform under which Google will bring together investors, successful entrepreneurs, and programmers that startups from smaller cities can tap into and learn from the best.
The idea of creating Startup School India is to reach more and more startups in India. Google aims to reach at least 10,000 startups with this program.
The SSI will be a nine-week program, delivered virtually, featuring fireside talks between Google leaders and pioneering collaborators from across the startup ecosystem spanning fintech, D2C, B2B and B2C e-commerce, language, social media and networking, search for employment and much more.
With nearly 70,000 startups, India is the third largest birthplace for startups in the world. And as more Indian founders successfully take their companies to IPO or unicorn status, a virtuous cycle has been unleashed in which their success has ignited aspirations among young Indians across the country.
“Startups are no longer restricted to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai or Hyderabad. We have plenty of fast growing startups based in hubs like Jaipur, Indore, Gorakhpur and more. In fact, these account for nearly 50 percent of all recognized startups in India today,” said Aditya Swamy, Head of Google Play Partnerships.
Swamy shared that nearly 90 percent of all startups fail within the first five years of their journey, primarily for the same key reasons: unmanaged cash spending, faulty demand assessment, ineffective feedback loops, or lack of leadership.
The program is aimed at startups that come from smaller cities and seek to share knowledge that will help them in their next stage. As new businesses spring up in farther corners of the country, there is a need for programs that can organize this knowledge into a structured curriculum and deliver it in a broad footprint.
Karthik Padmanabhan, Developer Relations Program, Senior Manager at Google, said that with Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities teeming with startup activity, access to that knowledge is of the utmost importance.
The curriculum will feature instructional modules on topics such as shaping an effective product strategy, deep dives into product user value, roadmapping and PRD development, building apps for the next billion users in markets like India, driving user acquisition and many more.
There will also be opportunities for founders to gain orthogonal insights from discussions on what makes an effective founder, the formalization of hiring, and more.
Aimed at early-stage founders with a minimum viable product, the program provides the flexibility of a virtual curriculum and allows attendees to choose the modules they would like to tune into.
Some of Google’s ecosystem contributors include Vivek Gupta, co-founder of Licious, Rajan Anandan, MD Sequoia India and SEA & Surge, Mabel Chako, co-founder of Open, and many more.
“Google has always believed in giving back to the startup ecosystem and this initiative lives up to the spirit. After working with thousands of startups, they really understand the needs gaps that the Startup School initiative aims to close” – Varun Alagh, Co-Founder, Mamaearth
“Startups in India are known to be innovative and agile in responding to business challenges. This is attested to by the fact that Indian startups have filed 6,000 patent applications in the US, which is 60% of all patent applications in the country. The combination of intellectual power, original thinking, creative application and technology, as well as fertile economic ground to experiment with in a market full of problems and opportunities, has resulted in considerable growth of these businesses, with many of them becoming unicorns. Google Startup School will provide an avenue for entrepreneurs to come out of their closet and look for opportunities,” Rahul Garg, Founder, Moglix.
“Startup School is an excellent initiative to reach founders on a large scale in India. As younger, tech-savvy founders start building their businesses, it’s important that the fundamentals of business creation are well thought out so founders can build for the long haul.” – Gayatri Yadav, Chief Marketing Officer , Sequoia India and Southeast Asia.