Our efforts to support startups through Covid-19

The last few months have brought sweeping changes and have, perhaps permanently, upended our regular way of doing business. Nowhere is this more felt than in startups, operating with lean teams, finite resources and a lot less cushion for uncertain times such as these.

Google started its own journey as a startup and in the years since, has worked actively with the startup community across the globe to foster innovation and cross pollination of knowledge, to help put the power of technology to its most impactful use. Google For Startups Accelerator (GFS Accelerator, previously Launchpad Accelerator) has worked with over 60 startups in India, which are oriented towards powering solutions in critical parts of the Indian economy such as healthcare, agriculture and sustainability. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, GFS in India has been contributing actively via 1:1 mentorships and webinar content aimed at startups in the ecosystem. Based on startups’ interest, topics such as Retention, Monetization, Optimization, Design across key areas like Cloud, Android, Digital Marketing have been covered in the last couple of months. Over the last 2 months, over 250 startups have benefitted from these activities in India and there will be many more to come in the months ahead.

Beyond GFS Accelerator, we continue to support startups via our partner program and mentor network through live Meet series and webinars across topics like fundraising during Covid-19 lockdowns, keeping startup communities engaged online, hosting online events, online founder training, virtual mentorship best practices, remote team tools and so on. 

To bring this critical know-how to a wider set of startups facing this challenge, Google for Startups has worked with our collaborators across the ecosystem to create Emerging Stronger: Playbook for Startups to face the Covid-19 Challenge. The Playbook is a compilation of practical suggestions for founders to address both, the strategic and the  operational challenges posed by the pandemic. 

It covers topics such as:
    • Thinking strategically about your startup’s future
    • Managing burn
    • Identifying new sources of revenue
    • Managing teams and productivity while WFH
    • How to help contribute to the fight against Covid-19 - examples of startups that are doing this and how
    • Case studies of startups that have experienced a surge in demand due to the pandemic e.g. on-demand logistics and mental health support

A robust startup ecosystem will be a key building block in rebuilding the economy in the months ahead. To support and nurture innovations in this new normal, we are expanding the scope of GFS Accelerator to include startups that are not only utilizing cutting edge technology such as AI/ML but are meaningfully helping the world adapt and move forward by solving for the challenges posed by the new landscape ahead of us.   

GFS Accelerator’s next batch of startups will commence in August 2020, and we invite applications from startups across verticals such as healthtech, edutech, fintech, retail and SaaS to apply here. The last date of applications is 30th June 2020. 

Posted by Paul Ravindranath G, Program Manager, Google for Startups Accelerator, India