An incubator or accelerator programme for startups is the same as college for students. These programmes are directed towards early-stage startups to help them better understand the ecosystem, gain knowledge, get access to mentorship, expertise and interact with investors for potential fund raises.
Startups today are considered the backbone of the Indian economy. In 2021 itself, the number of Indian startups entering the unicorn club (startups valued at more than $1 billion) in India is 32, taking the total tally to 72. Today, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade recognises up to 50,000 startups registered in India. Nurturing and helping these ever-increasing numbers of startups will help them grow and come to the benefit of all. In line with this, tech giants from across the globe have taken initiatives to further boost the thriving Indian startup ecosystem. In fact, recently, Google announced a partnership with MeitY Startup Hub to launch a growth and development programme– Appscale Academy. The programme is directed towards training mid-stage startups from tier II and III cities across the country.
Today, we list five incubation programmes that tech giants lead to promote Indian startups.
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Microsoft AI Innovate
Microsoft has launched a 10-week initiative Microsoft AI Innovate to support AI-powered startups in India. The programme is directed towards both B2B and B2C startups leveraging AI technologies to help them scale operations, drive innovation and build industry expertise. These startups can be from across industries– education, financial services, healthcare, agriculture, space, manufacturing, e-commerce and logistics, among others.
The programme is supported by TiE Mumbai and is focused on turning meaningful innovations into actionable results and making AI accessible to everyone.
Google Startup Accelerator
Google organises the Startups Accelerator India programme every year to focus on supporting startups that are innovating to solve meaningful challenges. This year, the tech giant organised the sixth batch to support solutions that drive scalable impact and are built using AI/ML approaches in the fields of healthcare, agritech, media and entertainment, enterprise, finance and education.
The three-month incubation programme is meant for high potential seed to Series A Indian startups that are building India-first products for the world. Shortlisted startups will receive mentorship and support around cloud, UX, Android, AI and ML, product strategy and growth, besides getting access to workshops on product designing, founders’ leadership development and customer acquisitions.
Facebook India Innovation Accelerator
Hyderabad-based T-Hub has partnered with social media giant Facebook and launched the India Innovation Hub Accelerator programme. This programme focused on ‘AI for Social Good’ aims to support startups focused on building services and products that solve complex social problems with the help of AI. These problems could range from domains of gender equality, economic opportunity, and climate change to innovation infrastructure, decent work, justice and peace.
Shortlisted startups get access to technical support, mentorship, and training on using Facebook products and tools. Additionally, startups will get access to Facebook Programs FbStart and resources and T-Hub’s ecosystem partners.
Apple App Accelerator
Apple Inc’s App Accelerator provides opportunities to startups to learn about the company’s latest advancements from its experts in Bengaluru. Additionally, candidates of the incubation programme will get to take advantage of the capabilities in iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, macOS and watchOS, allowing them to create innovative solutions.
The opportunity includes innovating hardware, software, and services, working with the Apple ecosystem and learning how to make one’s apps and games more intuitive, usable, engaging and entertaining. Additionally, one will gain insights into typography, animation and navigation.
E-commerce tech giant Amazon has partnered with Startup India to launch an accelerator programme– Amazon Global Selling Propel Accelerator Program, to focus on helping Indian consumer brands sell their products in global markets. The six-week programme will enable Indian businesses to speed their growth with the right kind of platform, mentorship and resources. In addition, the programme ensures one-on-one mentorship to discuss business models, pricing strategy and marketing campaigns with Amazon leaders, veteran startups, founders and VC partners.
Amazon has partnered with Sequoia Capital India and Fireside Ventures for this year’s flagship programme to help the shortlisted startups raise capital. The top three startups in the programme get the opportunity to win a $50,000 enquiry-free grant from Amazon.