Google on Wednesday announced an initiative, Startup School India, that aims to organise accumulated knowledge into a structured curriculum to enable startups in small cities overcome various challenges. Google hopes that the programme will help 10,000 startups in tier 2 and tier 3 cities (smaller cities).
The nine-week programme, delivered virtually, will have fireside chats between Google leaders and collaborators from across the startup ecosystem, spanning fintech, business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce, language, social media and networking, job search and other areas.
The curriculum will feature instructional modules on subjects such as shaping an effective product strategy, deep dives on product user value, building apps for next billion users in markets like India, driving user acquisition among others.
With nearly 70,000 startups, India is the third-largest base for startups in the world. As more Indian founders lead their companies successfully to IPOs or unicorn status, it has sparked a virtuous cycle wherein their success stories have ignited aspirations among young Indians across the country.
No longer restricted only to larger cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai or Hyderabad, promising startups are mushrooming in centers such as Jaipur, Indore, Gorakhpur and other locations. In fact, these account for nearly 50 percent of all recognised startups in India, at present.
That said, 90 percent of all startups fail within the first five years of their journey, mostly for the similar key reasons – unmanaged cash burn, flawed demand assessment, ineffective feedback loops or lack of leadership, Google said in a blogpost.
The latest initiative recognises this void, and acknowledges the need for programmes that can organise accumulated knowledge into a structured curriculum and deliver it across a wide footprint.
“Startup School India – a Google for Startups initiative is designed to do precisely that as we align our efforts to support this expansion,” the company said.
Indian entrepreneurs have garnered a wealth of institutional knowledge, Google said, noting that a defining tradition of the community has been knowledge sharing, which helps others learn faster, avoid known pitfalls and borrow useful growth hacks.
“Aimed at early stage founders with a minimum viable product, the programme provides the flexibility of a virtual curriculum and allows attendees to pick and choose the modules they’d like to tune in for,” the blogpost said.
There will also be opportunities for founders to gain insights from discussions around what makes an effective founder, formalising hiring and other key aspects.