Startups and developers are the key drivers of India’s digital transformation journey. Last year, the time spent by users outside India on apps and games created by Indian companies grew by 150% compared to 2019 on Google Play, a sign of the potential and opportunity Indian startups and developers today have to drive app and game innovations for the world. With a view to help these next generation of innovators, MeitY Startup Hub, an initiative of the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), and Google have announced a cohort of 100 Indian early- to mid-stage startups they aim to help build high-quality global apps and games as part of the Appscale Academy.
A growth and development programme by MeitY Startup Hub and Google, the goal of the Appscale Academy is to identify, and support promising Indian startups and help them grow into successful global businesses. The 100 startups were chosen from over 400 applications following an in-depth selection process that took into account their creative ideas and innovation, product quality, product scalability, and talent diversity. Startups of the Appscale Academy cohort are solving for some of India’s daily, critical, and unique needs through creative homegrown solutions, including BitClass (a live learning platform), Farmyng Club (a social platform for farmers to improve their livelihood), Kutuki (preschool learning app), Sunita’s Makerspace (a community to foster innovation), Stamurai (a platform offering affordable and high-quality speech therapy), LearnVern (a job-oriented skilling app offering courses in vernacular languages), Vivasayam (an app promoting organic farming), and many more.
The cohort startups span sectors such as education, health, finance, social, e-commerce, and gaming. It also includes startups supporting core communities in India through creative apps across agriculture, B2B, parenting, and more. As many as 35% of the cohort startups are based out of Tier-II and Tier-III cities, including Surat, Vadodara, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Morbi, and many others. What’s more, 58% of the cohort have a woman in a leadership role.
Purnima Kochikar, vice-president, Play Partnerships, Google, said, “Today, India is uniquely positioned to become a leading hub for global app innovation with tremendous opportunity for Indian startups across the country, regardless of size and location, to thrive in the global app ecosystem.”
As part of the six-month programme, 100 startups will be trained through a customised curriculum designed to help them drive high-quality apps for a global market, including sessions on UX design, business model and monetisation strategies, international expansion best practices, and data safety and security practices. The startups will receive access to virtual instructor-led webinars, self-learning material, and mentorship sessions with leading local and global industry professionals.