Google said that it is targeting 20 startups every year and will support them for three months. Startups that want to join the accelerator program must raise Series A funding and have women on the founding team.
The tech giant already runs an accelerator program but it is for all startups. Aditya Swamy, director of Google Play and Google for Startups, explains that it will help women who have ambitions to help society, but “don’t have the right kind of support in terms of capital, hiring and much more. ”
There is a severe lack of support for women-led startups, says Swamy. He says startups in India have raised billions of dollars, but only 6% of the funding went to women-led startups. Google wants to fix this and thus has the idea of a special accelerator program for women-led startups.
How will Google help women-led startups?
Paul Rabindranath, Program Manager, Developer Relations and Head of google accelerator Feather google indiaTold Times of India-Gadgets Now how Google will help these startups. One of the major focus areas will be mentorship, says Rabindranath. “At Google, mentorship is critical to our programs and we will tap into our alumni network, startups that we have helped build a strong mentor base for these startups,” he explains.
Funding for startups remains a challenge, says Rabindranath and even though Google will not offer financial support, it will help support women founders and provide access to a network of investors.
Google has a strong network of women-led startups in other countries. Rabindranath says that under the accelerator program, women-led startups will also get information about the startup ecosystem from them. The selected startups will get extensive support in the form of workshops, mentorship programs and support related to design and UX for three months.
What are the other key details?
In the first round of selection, Google will choose 20 startups. Applications for the program are starting from today and startups can apply till July 10. It will take a few weeks for Google to shortlist the applicants and notify the selected startups over the next few months.