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Google announces Startup School India for small-city entrepreneurs

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 the smaller cities can to tap into and learn from the best.

The idea of creating the Startup School India is to reach out to more and more startups in India. Google aims to reach out to at least 10,000 startups with this programme.

The SSI will be a nine-week program, delivered virtually, will feature fireside chats between Google leaders and trailblazing collaborators from across the startup ecosystem spanning fintech, D2C, B2B and B2C e-commerce, language, social media & networking, job search and many more.

With close to 70,000 startups, India is the third largest birthing ground for startups in the world. And as more Indian founders lead their companies successfully to IPOs or unicorn status, it has set off a virtuous cycle wherein their success has ignited aspirations among young Indians across the length and breadth of the country.

“Startups are no longer restricted to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai or Hyderabad. We have multitudes of fast-growing startups headquartered in centers such as Jaipur, Indore, Gorakhpur and more. In fact, these account for nearly 50 per cent of all recognized startups in India today,” said Aditya Swamy, director, Play Partnerships Google.

Swamy shared that almost 90 per cent of all startups fail within the first five years of their journey – mostly for the same key reasons – unmanaged cash burn, flawed demand assessment, ineffective feedback loops or lack of leadership.

The programme is aimed for startups that come from smaller cities and are looking for some knowledge sharing that will help them in their next stage. As startups come up in farther corners of the country, there is a need for programs which can organize this knowledge into a structured curriculum and deliver it across a wide footprint.

Karthik Padmanabhan, developer relations program, Manager lead, Google said that with tier 2 and 3 cities buzzing with startup activities, access to such knowledge is of utmost importance.

The curriculum will feature instructional modules on subjects like shaping an effective product strategy, deep dives on product user value, roadmapping & PRD development, building apps for 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 around what makes an effective founder, formalizing 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 pick and choose the modules they’d like to tune in for.

Some of Google’s ecosystem collaborators include Vivek Gupta, co-founder Licious, Rajan Anandan, MD Sequoia India and SEA & Surge, Mabel Chako, co-founder Open and many more.

“Google has always believed in giving back to the startup ecosystem and this initiative lives the spirit. After working with thousands of startups they truly understand the need gaps which there Startup School initiative aims to bridge” – Varun Alagh, Co-founder, Mamaearth

“Startup enterprises in India have been known to be innovative and nimble footed in responding to business challenges. This is testified by the fact that Indian startup enterprises have filed 6000 patent applications in the United States, thus representing 60% of the total patent applications in the country. The combination of intellectual power, original thinking, creative application, and technology, as well as a fertile economic ground to experiment in a market full of problems and opportunities, has resulted in considerable growth of these businesses, with many of them turning into Unicorns. The Google Startup School will provide an avenue to entrepreneurs to come out of their closet and look for opportunities,” – Rahul Garg, Founder, Moglix

“Startup School is an excellent initiative to reach founders at scale in India. As more young, tech savvy founders start to build their businesses, it’s important that the fundamentals of company-building are well thought out so that founders can build for the long-term.”- Gayatri Yadav, Chief Marketing Officer, Sequoia India and Southeast Asia.

Google has always believed in giving back to the startup ecosystem and this initiative lives the spirit. Best wishes to the entire team. I look forward to seeing your future accomplishments.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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