On June 14, 2022, Google India launched a startup accelerator program for women-led startups. The purpose is to help women-led startups scale by connecting them to the right mentors and network of other startups. Meanwhile, it will help them raise funds and hire the right tech talent. This is the first time that Google has announced a women-founder-focused program in India.
Purpose of the Startup Accelerator Program
The programme will focus on issues such as access to networks, funding, hiring challenges, and mentorship. Besides, it will address issues that female founders face due to various factors, including low representation.
Moreover, the tech giant’s startup accelerator program will also feature courses and support in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), cloud, UX, Android, and web. Meanwhile, it will give due attention to the product strategy and growth and access to a worldwide community of women founders.
How will the Program work
Google is looking to admit up to 20 Indian startups founder or cofounded by women into the first batch of the programme. Thereon, it will support them for the selected startup for three months.
However, Google seeks to shortlist 40 startups yearly divided over two cohorts. It will mentor each cohort for three months.
Only those startups that have raised a seed to series A fund and have a woman on the founding team can apply for the program.
What the officials have to say
Aditya Swamy, Director of Google Play Partnerships, said, “There’s a large women population with the ambition to build and design and influence society truly, but they’re not getting access to capital. If you actually take out companies where a woman has a male co-founder, the number comes down to 1.5 per cent. We found this huge gap from a product point of view as well as a content point of view. From that came the idea of launching an accelerator specifically focused on women founders. From a product point of view, if we have more women-founded companies, they will truly be able to solve the problems that women experience, and that will make our society truly inclusive.”
In addition, Paul Ravindranathan G, program manager, Developer Relations and head of Google Accelerator at Google India, said, “In one of the surveys, almost 48 per cent of women said that they need access to a better mentor and we want to solve this. Importantly, there’s nothing like having a peer group that allows you to connect and grow. Mentorship has been the backbone of our programs. And we’re trying to build a strong mentor base and ensure that we can address the needs of women-led startups.”
He further said, “We are looking at what can be done to enable these women founders to be better prepared to raise funds. It will include pitching, storytelling and providing them access to our community or network of investors. We have a global women founder network. We will ensure that the founders from India get plugged in and have the opportunity to get insights from them.”
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