The Launchpad Accelerator Program helps founders of start-ups having disruptive ideas to build in next generation app companies. This program assists start-ups by mentoring them at respective stages of growth for developing successful apps by start-ups.
The inception of this program was a result of a flood of applications which Google had received for the accelerator program that was either in the idea stage or early stage of growth with only a few having found product market fit.
As stated by Roy Glasberg, the global lead of Google, "Launchpad has positioned itself as the Google global program for start-ups. It is the most scaleable tool Google has today to reach, empower, train and support startups globally.”
Stages of the program
Google's six-month accelerator program typically selects companies that have already found the product market fit and are generating revenues. There are three stages of the Program:
1. Launchpad start
- Aimed at early and idea stage startups.
- It’s a five days program.
- Mentoring is taken up by Google's network of mentors.
- The startups are mentored on areas design, marketing, and user experience among others.
- Each day is focused on a specific area.
2. Launchpad build
- This is targeted for mid-level start-ups.
- It’s a two days program.
- The aim is to support startups with validating technology stack and existing approaches in various areas through one-hour mentorship sessions in speed dating style.
As per Paul Ravindranath, the Program Lead for Google Launchpad Accelerator Program, "One of the main outcomes from LaunchPad Build is that startups are able to make tech-stack decisions. We have also noticed that product and marketing mentorship is a big need that is coming up right now."
3. Launchpad scale
- This is built for growth stage start-ups.
- Mentors cater to the design challenges of the fully developed product and support to figure out a solution.
Startups from diverse industry like social networking, utility applications, and food delivery apps have been a part of Google’s launchpad program. Speculations are that Google will be a part of global “Sand Hill” program for deepening its technical engagement.
Few of the Indian startups like ShareChat, Swiggy, FreshMenu, UrbanClap, and HealthifyMe have already been a part of this program. In fact, Google has shortlisted RecipeBook, EdGE Networks, SigTuple, FastFilmz, RailYatri and IndiaLends lately making the count to 26 Indian start-ups joining this Program.
Supporting ‘Women’ entrepreneurs
In a non-exclusive women only event, 11 woman-led startups became a part of the Build Program. This was recently hosted under Developers’ Launchpad Build event in Bengaluru, organized in collaboration with Google’s Women Techmakers initiative and Google’s Women@ program.
Contrary to the reality that there aren’t enough women entrepreneurs applying for support and mentorship, there were 11 woman-led startups who received training from the program. These are Talking Street, PregBuddy, LetsEndorse, Mishipay, Guvi Geek Network, Fundamentor, Clinikk Healthcare, Evibe Technologies, CampusTime, Omnify, and PlexusMD.
There’s another program named “The Google Developers Launchpad Studio” recently launched on 26th July 2017 to help startups in machine learning and AI. Watch out to know more about it in the next part of this article series.