Google Launchpad to retain focus on Indian AI start-ups
Google Launchpad's India accelerator programme will continue to focus on AI start-ups, led by their ability to scale up quickly, its India head Paul Ravindranath said. The programme opened applications for its second-class last week. Ravindranath also indicated that agriculture and healthcare technology are two strong emerging themes in India which Google Launchpad is likely to back in the future given their scalability and high impact potential. “As a company, we have AI-first approach and it aligns very well with our expertise, our technology stack and platform and our extended community of mentors,” Ravindranath said in an interview. “Thus, I expect the focus to continue in 2019. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) applicability is sector-agnostic and allow an idea to be implemented on a large scale. For markets like India and Africa, these are the main tools to be able to do that.” Google Launchpad started its India accelerator programme in July 2018 with Bengaluru as its hub. While the accelerator allows for engagement with start-ups for a period of three months, Google Launchpad conducts several short duration engagements with newly set-up ventures and student start-ups. Apart from India, Google Launchpad has also opened accelerators in Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Nigeria, Tokyo and Singapore. Google started its global Launchpad accelerator programme in 2016. So far, it has mentored 30 start-ups in India through its global accelerator programme.