Google has launched Startup School India (SSI), a platform bringing together investors, successful startups and programmers, aimed at equipping early-stage startups with best practices they can share and learn from. The platform, part of the Google for Startups initiative, aims to reach out to at least 10,000 startups. A nine-week virtual programme, the SSI will also feature fireside chats between Google leaders and collaborators from the startup ecosystem.

The curriculum will feature subjects such as shaping an effective product strategy, deep dives on product user value, road mapping & PRD development, building apps for Next Billion Users in markets like India, driving user acquisition and many more. Founders will also have the opportunity to gain orthogonal insights from discussions around what makes an effective founder, formalizing hiring and more.

India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, with close to 70,000 startups, of which there are 103 unicorns, with a total valuation of USD 335.80 billion. Where startups earlier grew out of the metro cities, today a number of the smaller towns and cities, including Jaipur, Gorakhpur and Indore, are slowly becoming home grounds for startups.

However, as per a study by IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics, 80-90 percent of startups fail in the first five years. Often, unmanaged cash burn, flawed demand assessment, ineffective feedback loops or lack of leadership, are reasons for failure. The programme is aimed at early-stage founders with a minimum viable product, and provides the flexibility of a virtual curriculum that allows attendees to pick and choose the modules they’d like to tune in for.

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