Google’s Launchpad Accelerator is a six month accelerator programme for startups (in the growth stage) from emerging markets. While there are a lot of accelerator programmes out there, Launchpad Accelerator is distinctive in that it gives startups the rare opportunity to collaborate with Google engineers, Silicon Valley experts, and top mentors from around the world. Startups also get the sort of support only Google can bring to the table, like Google product credits, all-expense paid training in San Francisco, and more importantly, equity-free support.
On the Asian side of things, Launchpad has now opened itself up to startups from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. There will be plenty of competition for Sri Lankan startups, given the pedigree of the companies that Launchpad has worked with over the last two years.
The application process for the equity-free programme will end on October 2, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. PST. Later on in the year, a list of selected developers will be invited to the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco for two weeks of all-expense-paid training.
There are quite a few benefits to being accepted to the programme. The training at Google headquarters includes mentoring from over 20 Google teams, as well as from top tech companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants get equity-free support, credits for Google products, PR support, and the opportunity to work closely with Google back in their own countries during the six month programme.
The Entry Criteria
Each and every startup entering the programme will be given a thorough appraisal, but there are general guidelines to keep in mind when applying.
All startups must:
- Be tech startups
- Be targeting their local markets
- Have proven product-market fit (i.e. beyond ideation stage)
- Be based in the countries listed
In addition, the kind of work the startup does also matters. For example:
- What is the problem you are trying to solve? How does it create value for users? Are you addressing a real challenge to your home city, country, or region?
- Does your management team have a leadership mindset and the drive to become an influencer?
- Will you share what you learn in Silicon Valley for the benefit of other startups in your local ecosystem?
Launchpad has been adding countries to its roster every year as it expands its services across the globe and builds an impressive alumni. If your startup meets the criteria and you’re willing to invest six months of your time for a whole load of return, then apply here before October 2, 2017.
Image courtesy: Google Developers Launchpad.