Google announced a new “Solve for India” initiative that aims to expand and energise the start-up ecosystem in tier II cities across the country. The campaign will mentor and inspire upcoming entrepreneurs and startups in emerging cities like Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Indore, Nagpur, Nashik, Madurai, Kanpur and Chennai.
“There is a growing number of entrepreneurs in smaller Indian cities who are focusing on building solutions that caters to the real needs of India. Through this initiative we want to bring the best of Google under one program and join forces with them to help create solutions that serves the needs of a billion Indians,” said Karthik Padmanabhan, Program Manager Lead for Google India, in a statement.
Entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to learn directly from Google engineers, who will share product usage insights, how to develop mobile first solutions with strong offline and language capabilities and help them to build solutions across areas like agriculture technology, healthcare, transportation, education and sanitation.
Developers, entrepreneurs in tier 2 cities will also get access to direct mentoring and support from Google. Entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to learn directly from Google engineers under this initiative. Google also cities examples of some apps from upcoming cities, which are trying to solve user problems in India.
There’s a Hello English app, by Jaipur based developer Nishant Patni, which has helped over 95 lakh Indians learn English. Then there’s “kuzhandai nalam” or “child health” app from Chennai’s Natarajan Raman, who is an Android developer. The app lets parents learn about children’s health issues in regional languages and has crossed over 50,000 downloads.
According to Google, its Launchpad mentoring program which will help developers to “build, scale and accelerate early stage product ideas into category leaders.”
This Launchpad program provides six month mentorship and helps apps build, scale, develop market strategies. Google will also look at $50,000 equity free investments for startups part of this program. Those that want to build scalable solutions can also get $20,000 worth of Google cloud credits, to access and use its Cloud services.