Tag Archives: India

Introducing Launchpad Accelerator India, a dedicated program for ML/AI startups focused on Solving for India’s needs

Applications are open starting today

Over the last 3.5 years, Google’s Launchpad has successfully supported hundreds of startups from India. From short format startup mentorship activities like Launchpad Start and Build to the 6-month global Launchpad Accelerator, Indian startups have experienced the best of Google’s mentor network, resources, methodologies and technology. Thirty Indian startups have benefitted from our global Launchpad Accelerator program, helping them collectively raise over $70M and drive revenue increases of almost 500%.

Based on the growing maturity of the Indian startup ecosystem, last year we launched an India-only pilot “Solve for India”, to identify startups that were focused on building solutions that serves India’s needs using latest technologies.  We identified several startups from this roadshow and hosted a “Solve for India” mentorship boot camp,  where the founders and their teams spent four days in one-on-one consults with experts from Google and mentors from the industry to solve critical product and growth challenges.

Building on the efforts of our Launchpad offerings till date and based on our learning from the pilot, today we're excited to announce Google’s Launchpad Accelerator India, our new mentorship program tailored exclusively for startups based in India and  deploying Machine Learning/AI to build solutions for India’s local needs.

Launchpad Accelerator India will kick-off as a three-month accelerator that provides Indian startups with mentorship and access to the best of Google - its people, network and technologies. Applications for the first class is now open until July 31, 12pm IST and the first class will begin in September 2018, where shortlisted startups will get to attend a two week in-person bootcamp.

What do we look for when selecting startups?
Startups will need to meet the following criteria to be considered for the Launchpad Accelerator India:

All startups in the program should:
1/ Be a technology startup.
2/ Be based in India.  
3/ Have preferably at least raised seed funding.
4/ Address a challenge that is specific to India
5/ Use advanced technology like AI/ML to power the solution.

Each class will consist of upto 10 startups who will receive mentorship and support from the best of Google in AI/ML, Cloud, UX, Android, Web, Product Strategy and Marketing. Startups will also receive Google Cloud Credits from  $20K - going up to $100K each.

We look forward to welcome the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Accelerator India and will continue to support them to drive innovation for  India .

Posted by Paul Ravindranath, Regional Lead, Launchpad Accelerator, Google India

Building a better news experience on YouTube, together


The work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to seeking information about current events online.

In March, the Google News Initiative (GNI) kicked off with the goal of helping journalism thrive in the digital age. Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking with the GNI to support the future of news in online video, and product features we’ve been working on to improve the news experience on YouTube.  

Supporting journalism with technology that allows news to thrive
We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news.

For example, in 2015 European publishers came to us to ask about how they could scale their video efforts, especially because maintaining video delivery infrastructure is costly. Working alongside them we launched Player for Publishers, a solution that enables news organizations to use YouTube’s video player to give viewers a world-class video experience across their own websites and mobile apps. Player for Publishers reduces costs and offers improved monetization for news organizations.

Since then, we've expanded these efforts beyond Europe.

Today, over 100 publishers in more than 25 countries use Player for Publishers.

As part of the launch of GNI in March, we announced funding to support the future of news. Today we are committing $25M to a YouTube-specific investment:

1/ Expertise.  We’re establishing a working group with news organizations and experts from around the world to help us develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges. News organizations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today are early members of the working group. We’re looking forward to having more join as we convene the group in the coming weeks.   

2/ Innovation Funding. We will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations. Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.

3/ Support. We’re significantly expanding our team focused on supporting news publishers. These specialists will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.

News organizations interested in more information about these efforts can sign up here.

Making authoritative sources readily accessible
Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we’ve been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources:

Providing more sources and context on breaking news
After a breaking news event, it takes time to verify, produce and publish high-quality videos. Journalists often write articles first to break the news rather than produce videos. That’s why in the coming weeks in the U.S. we will start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change.  

Expanding Top News and Breaking News
To make it easier to find quality news, our Top News shelf prominently highlights videos from news sources in search results (see the picture below on the left). And when a breaking news event happens, we want users to know about it. That’s why our Breaking News shelf highlights videos from news organizations about that event directly on the YouTube homepage (see the picture below on the right). Today, our Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. We will double that number in the coming months.


Showcasing more local news, starting with the U.S.  
Many people want, value, and trust local news. And when a major event happens, local reporters are often the first on site to capture events as they unfold. We’ve begun testing features that surface local news in the free YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the United States, making it easy to access local news in the living room--our fastest growing screen. So far, local news has seen strong engagement, and we will be expanding it to dozens more markets like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City.

Providing context to help people make their own decisions
We also believe users should be able to choose and make their own judgments about the information they consume along with context to inform their judgments. That’s why we’re rolling out a few new features that we will continue to build upon:

Giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos
Starting today, users will begin seeing information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica, alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Investing in digital literacy education
Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, we have teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a U.S.-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills. Six incredible YouTube Creators, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, will be working with MediaWise to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens.

We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations. We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources.

By Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer

The Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC) Study Jam series comes to India

Looking for an inroad into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning? Now you can access practical -- and free -- training from Google experts

From helping farmers detect the onset of crop infections to enabling doctors diagnose the occurrence of diabetic blindness among millions, Artificial Intelligence is helping tackle challenges inventively across a range of sectors. At Google, we believe that AI has the potential to make apps and services more useful, while helping innovation among businesses and developers, be it in their own field or while taking on humanity’s big challenges.

In India the AI ecosystem is nascent but is developing rapidly. With companies of all sizes adopting AI in their solutions, there is a clear and present need for trained and technically-equipped developers to drive these AI-related challenges and projects. To help facilitate this, Google signed a Statement of Intent with NITI Aayog earlier this year to jointly work towards building the AI ecosystem in India.

One of the key initiatives of this collaboration is to train Indian developers in the field of Machine Learning. With this as the objective we are excited to  bring the Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC) Study Jam series to India this July.

This course intends to improve developers’ technical proficiency in machine learning, enabling them to apply cutting-edge techniques to help take on a range of practical challenges.

About MLCC

MLCC is Google’s flagship machine learning course, initially created for Google engineers. This course was taken up by more than 18,000 Googlers, and was recently made publicly available.  MLCC provides exercises, interactive visualizations, and instructional videos that anyone can use to learn and practice ML concepts.

What does the course cover?

MLCC covers numerous machine learning fundamentals, from  basic concepts such as loss function and gradient descent, then building through more advanced theories like classification models and neural networks. The programming exercises include the basics of TensorFlow -- our open-source machine learning framework -- and also feature succinct videos from Google machine learning experts. Participants will be able to read short text lessons, and play with educational gadgets devised by Google’s instructional designers and engineers.

Who should take this (free!) course?

MLCC is intended for those who wish to learn about ML from a practical, applied perspective that will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the power of TensorFlow, and incorporate best practices into their everyday projects. This course is ideally suited to developers with basic machine learning knowledge, who are keen to gain experience in ML and TensorFlow.

Posted by Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director - Public Policy, Google India

Now available: new ways to explore with Google Maps


Last month, we introduced new ways to experience your city with Google Maps—helping you find the best spots to eat, drink, and play based on the things you’re into. Many of these features start rolling out worldwide today. Read on for seven tips on how you can use Google Maps to see your neighborhood in a whole new light:

1/ The redesigned Explore tab gives you quick recommendations for restaurants, bars, and cafes in any area you’re interested in. Whether you’re staying local or planning a trip, you can always find the perfect spot no matter where you are in the world.

2/ Find the best burger in town or track the top brunch spots in the city with trending lists from local experts and Google’s algorithms.

3/ Indulge your inner foodie on Android by automatically keeping track of your progress against any of the restaurants featured in the trending lists. So if you’re on a mission to try the 10 best tacos in your area and you’ve only tried 5, Google Maps will note that for you so you can get to the tacos pronto.

4/ Know what’s going on. On Android, the new Explore tab now surfaces the top events and activities happening in your area. You can see photos, descriptions, and filter by categories like “good for kids,” “cheap” or “indoor or outdoor” so you can find just the right activity to fit your mood.
The new Explore tab is now available to all Android and iOS users globally.

5/ Make plans faster. If you have Location History turned on, each restaurant or bar now features “Your match,” a numeric rating that tells you how likely you are to enjoy a place based on your own preferences—so you can save time scrolling through lists of reviews and quickly make a decision about where to go.  

6/ Tell Google Maps about your food and drink preferences so it can surface better dining recommendations as you eat your way around town (to do this, go to your Settings to select the types of cuisines and restaurants you like, along with what you’re not so into).

Your match is now available to Android users worldwide.

7/ Get inspired for your next culinary adventure. The new “For you” tab will keep you in the know about everything happening in areas you care about whether it’s near your home, work, or a city you visit frequently. Following a neighborhood allows you to instantly see if there’s a hot new restaurant in the area, a new cafe that’s a perfect match for your tastes, or if one of your favorite dining spots is in the news.
The For you tab is now available on Åndroid in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Japan, with content ramping up this week.

To start exploring, update your Google Maps app from the App Store or Play Store today. Share your favorite list of restaurants with us on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #OnGoogleMaps, and make sure to follow @GoogleMaps for more tips on how you can use Google Maps to get around and discover your neighborhood.

By Sophia Lin, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps

Introducing simpler brands and solutions for advertisers and publishers

We launched AdWords nearly 18 years ago with a simple goal—to make it easier for people to connect online with businesses. A search for eco-friendly stationery, quilting supplies, or for a service like a treehouse builder gave us an opportunity to deliver valuable ads that were useful and relevant in the moment. That idea was the start of our first advertising product, and led to the ads business we have today.

A lot has changed since then. Mobile is now a huge part of our everyday lives. People quickly switch from searching for products, to watching videos, browsing content, playing games and more. As a result, marketers have more opportunities to reach consumers across channels, screens and formats. The opportunity has never been more exciting, but it’s also never been more complex. Over the years, Google ads have evolved from helping marketers connect with people on Google Search, to helping them connect at every step of the consumer journey through text, video, display and more.  
That’s why today we are introducing simpler brands and solutions for our advertising products: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager. These new brands will help advertisers and publishers of all sizes choose the right solutions for their businesses, making it even easier for them to deliver valuable, trustworthy ads and the right experiences for consumers across devices and channels. As part of this change, we are releasing new solutions that help advertisers get started with Google Ads and drive greater collaboration across teams.  

Google AdWords is becoming Google Ads

The new Google Ads brand represents the full range of advertising capabilities we offer today—on Google.com and across our other properties, partner sites and apps—to help marketers connect with the billions of people finding answers on Search, watching videos on YouTube, exploring new places on Google Maps, discovering apps on Google Play, browsing content across the web, and more.  
For small businesses specifically, we’re introducing a new campaign type in Google Ads that makes it easier than ever to get started with online advertising. It brings the machine learning technology of Google Ads to small businesses and helps them get results without any heavy lifting—so they can stay focused on running their businesses. To learn more, visit this post.

We'll introduce more new campaign types at Google Marketing Live. Sign up to watch the livestream on July 10.

Stronger collaboration with Google Marketing Platform

We’re enabling stronger collaboration for enterprise marketing teams by unifying our DoubleClick advertiser products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite under a single brand: Google Marketing Platform.
We’ve heard from marketers that there are real benefits to using ads and analytics technology together, including a better understanding of customers and better business results. Google Marketing Platform helps marketers achieve their goals by building on existing integrations between the Google Analytics 360 Suite and DoubleClick Digital Marketing. The platform helps marketers plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one place. To learn more, visit the Google Marketing Platform blog.

As part of Google Marketing Platform, we’re announcing Display & Video 360. Display & Video 360 brings together features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center to allow creative, agency, and media teams to collaborate and execute ad campaigns end-to-end in a single place. We’ll share more details about Display & Video 360 in the coming weeks, including a demo during the keynote at Google Marketing Live.

Google Ad Manager: A unified platform

We recognize that the way publishers monetize their content has changed. With people accessing content on multiple screens, and with advertisers’ growing demand for programmatic access, publishers need to be able to manage their businesses more simply and efficiently. That’s why for the last three years, we’ve been working to bring together DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange in a complete and unified programmatic platform under a new name–Google Ad Manager.
With this evolution, we’re excited to do even more for our partners—earning them more money, more efficiently, wherever people are watching videos, playing games or engaging with content, and however advertisers are looking to work with them. To learn more, visit the Google Ad Manager blog.

Transparency and controls people can trust

We know that the media and technology advertisers and publishers choose to use impacts the relationships they have with their customers. As always, our commitment is to ensure that all of our products and platforms set the industry’s highest standard in giving people transparency and choice in the ads they see. For example, we recently announced new Ads Settings and expanded Why this ad? across all of our services, and almost all websites and apps that partner with us to show ads.

You'll start to see the new Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager brands over the next month.

We’ll be sharing more about these changes—and many other new Ads, Analytics and Platforms solutions designed to help you grow your business—at Google Marketing Live. Register now to watch live on July 10, 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET.

By Sridhar Ramaswamy Senior Vice President, Ads & Commerce

Indie Games Accelerator: Calling indie game developers from Southeast Asia, India and Pakistan

Do you believe you have what it takes to make the next big mobile game? If you do, listen up! We’re offering developers in Asia a chance to perfect your mobile game with Google Play’s first Indie Games Accelerator program. If your gaming startup is based in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam, and you want to supercharge your growth, you can learn more and apply for the Indie Games Accelerator by July 31.
We’re always looking for new ways to support developers. So, as a special edition of the Launchpad Accelerator, we’re announcing a new-four month Indie Gaming Accelerator to train promising developers from these countries in Asia so they can successfully build, scale, launch and market the next generation of hit mobile games.

Developers accepted into the program will be matched with the best of Google—our people, network, insights and technology—while attending two all-expenses-paid gaming bootcamps at the Google Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, where they will receive personalized mentorship from Google teams and industry experts. Additional benefits include Google Cloud Platform credits and invites to exclusive Google and industry events. We’ll announce the developers accepted into the program on August 8.
There are many passionate gamers in Asia. The talented mobile game developers in the region have a tremendous opportunity to build apps and deliver experiences that entertain, educate and inspire. We look forward to seeing you get your game on with your application!
By Anuj Gulati, Developer Marketing Manager, Google Play and Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations Program Manager, Google

Offline sharing now 4 times faster in Files Go

Over the past six months, Files Go has helped users free up space, find files faster and share files offline. Collectively, our users are saving 100 TB per day by cleaning up Junk Files or Good Morning messages, especially in India, the most popular country for Files Go usage.

Today, we are releasing a major upgrade to the nearby sharing feature, making it more secure and even faster while still not requiring any mobile data — a big time and cost saver for our users.
Here’s what you can expect in this update:
  • Easier to find and use: Nearby sharing is now available in its own dedicated tab called “Share.” This tab has a simplified and smoother interface, and it works on any Android phone from the latest Google Pixel back to Android 5.0 (Lollipop).
  • Faster connections: Thanks to improved connection techniques, the average time it takes to connect two phones is now just five seconds.
  • Faster transfers: Files Go picks the fastest method of sending files available on your phone, such as 5GHz Wi-Fi Direct, so you get the highest transfer speeds possible. Users have seen speeds up to 490 Mbps—that’s four times faster than before, or 100 original quality photos sent in less than five seconds.
  • More secure: Files Go helps you verify that you are connecting to the right person and encrypts all your transfers for additional security.
Give it a try with a friend and let us know what you think. Please send any thoughts our way by using the Feedback option in the app.

By Stephen Hughes, Software Engineer, NBU

Inviting students to participate in Code to Learn contest 2018

It’s time to let the coder in you come alive as the Code to Learn competition is back for its fifth edition. But, what is Code to Learn? Students from Class 5 to 10 from any school in India can be nominated by their school teacher to show their coding genius on Scratch or App Inventor to develop a fun Games, Animations, Story-telling or an Android app; without writing even one line of programming language code!

Over the years, Computer Science and Programming has evolved and become one of the strongest means of solving real-life problems. Be it helping underprivileged kids with book donations using an app, sending their friends innovative greetings through an app or making an app to help simplify learning for kids with dyslexia.

The Code to Learn competition is a platform for students to learn the basics of coding and build a strong foundation in Computer Science. Children are exposed to technology much earlier than ever before, and we believe that these foundational years are the best time to start nurturing their scientific inquisitiveness and curiosity. Through a fun and engaging way, we aim to teach students how to use technology to solve problems around them.

In line with this objective, we have been running the Code to Learn competition for school students in India for the last 5 years. The program has also been adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India under the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan.  

The contest registrations are now open and students from across India can submit their projects by August 31, 2018. There are links to online tutorials for both Scratch and App Inventor on the contest site and are very easy to learn.

In addition to this, we will also host training programs for teachers who can further teach their students in the classrooms. Teachers can register for the training on this form. We are excited about this year's contest, and are looking forward to seeing the innovation and creativity that students will present to us via their projects.

Code to Learn is co-organized by ACM India and IIIT Delhi. ACM is the worldwide society for scientific and educational computing with an aim to advance Computer Science both as a science and as a profession. IIIT Delhi is a research-oriented university based in Delhi.

By Ashwani Sharma, Head of University Relations and Computer Science Outreach, Google India

More transparency and control in your Google Account

Several years ago, we brought our privacy and security settings together in one place to make it easier for you to choose the options that are right for you. Billions of people have now visited their Google Account and over 20 million people do so every day.

Today, we’re announcing an improved Google Account experience. It includes new features to more easily navigate your account, more prominent security and privacy options, and detailed summaries of relevant information associated with it—like your personal info, your devices, payment methods, purchases, subscriptions, reservations, and contacts. The new experience is available today for all Android users and will launch on iOS and web later this year.
New ways to find what you need
We’ve added new features in your Google Account to make it even easier to review and control this data. We’ve introduced a new search functionality that enables you to find settings and other info you might be looking for in your account, like how to change your password. When you have a problem but don't quite know what to look for, you can access a new dedicated support section as well. There, you'll find help with common tasks, like upgrading your
account storage, and get answers from community experts.
More helpful privacy and security information
We know that when it comes to data and privacy, one size does not fit all. To help you better understand and take control of your Google Account, we've made all your privacy options easy to review with our new intuitive, user-tested design. You can now more easily find your Activity controls in the Data & Personalization tab and choose what types of activity data are saved in your account to make Google work better for you. There, you’ll also find the recently updated Privacy Checkup that helps you review your privacy settings and explains how they shape your experience across Google services.
In October, we updated our Security Checkup to provide you with an overview of your account security and personalized recommendations. The new Google Account experience builds on this and will show you prominent notices if we detect there’s something you can do to improve your security. For example, we might suggest you remove your account from old devices you’re no longer using or remove unverified apps you had granted access to your account data.

We are committed to providing you with the controls you need to choose what’s right for you. For years, we’ve built and refined tools to help you easily understand, protect, and control your information. As needs around security and privacy evolve, we will continue to improve these important tools to help you control how Google works for you.

By Jan Hannemann, Product Manager, Google Account

Chrome on Android now offlines content on WiFi

Chrome’s goal is to make the web work well for everyone, everywhere. From building offline capabilities to an automatic data saver, we’ve launched a number of features to improve web accessibility especially tailored to NBU markets. However, it can be frustrating and hard to access the web when you lose connectivity or spend days disconnected. Spotty connectivity shouldn’t stop us from accessing our favourite sites to get information, whether it’s recent news or the latest cricket results.

Today, we’re introducing another way for Chrome on Android users in India, along with more than 100 countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, and Brazil, to surf the web with Chrome on Android devices — even without a constant internet connection. When you’re connected to free, unmetered WiFi, Chrome will automatically download relevant articles, based on what content is most popular in your location. If you’re signed into Chrome, you’ll also get articles that are relevant to you, based on your browsing history. This downloaded content is then available whenever you want to access it, even if you don’t have a connection.
Chrome on Android’s automatically downloaded content is available alongside all of your downloaded content

Keep browsing the web, even offline. You can get this feature by updating to the latest version of Chrome on Android in Google Play.

By Amanda Boss, Product Manager, Offline Chrome for Android