Tech titan Google on Tuesday announced a startup accelerator program for women founders which will help them address challenges such as fundraising and hiring.
The inaugural batch of the ‘Google for Startups Accelerator – India Women Founders’ will accept up to 20 women-founded / co-founded startups in the country, and support them through a three-month program. The program is part of a larger effort by Google towards improving the representation of women across different sections of India’s digitally-trained workforce — be it entrepreneurship, professionals looking to upskill or young graduates seeking a headstart on their career, Google said.
The ultimate objective is about making technology universally relevant and helpful, it added. “…we are pleased to announce the Google for Startups Accelerator – India Women Founders, aimed to help women founders address challenges that are unique to their experience, including fundraising, hiring and many others,” Google said in a blogpost. India is the world’s third largest startup capital, trailing only the US and China.
It has over a 100 unicorns, with 22 added to the list just in 2022, spanning verticals such as e-commerce, healthtech, fintech and others. That said, only 15 per cent of these Indian unicorns have one or more women founders. “As Indian startups look to reinvent more sectors of the economy through technology, equal representation of women at the helm of this wave is critical to ensure that the promised changes are universally relevant and helpful,” Google said.
The program will place special focus on areas like access to networks, capital, hiring challenges, mentorship and other areas which, for a variety of social reasons and low representation, prove challenging for female founders. In addition to these, the curriculum will include workshops and support around AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning), cloud, android, web, product strategy and growth, as well as access to a global community of women founders.