Google partners with Tata Trusts-backed Social Alpha to support social impact startups

Google partners with Tata Trusts-backed Social Alpha to support social impact startups
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters
16 Oct, 2019

California-based technology giant Google’s global acceleration programme has partnered startup incubator Social Alpha to support social impact startups.

The partnership between Google Developers Launchpad and Social Alpha is aimed at helping startups gain access to mentors and tools for building businesses that can impact the technological ecosystem.

As part of the programme, Tata Trusts-backed Social Alpha will gain access to Google’s insights, research and best practices to help grow social impact startups at scale,  the incubator said in a statement.

The partnership will focus on supporting startups that are working with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in their products or services. AI- and ML-driven technologies can help social impact startups achieve scale, considering that they often work on a low budget and their target customers cannot afford their services.

“As we continue to build and grow the lab-to-market ecosystem for high impact innovations in India, our portfolio companies need access to world-class technologies especially in the areas of data science and machine learning,” said Manoj Kumar, founder and chief executive officer, Social Alpha.

Mentorship provided by the Google programme will help startups raise funds from the investment and venture capital ecosystem, the statement added.

“Google Developers Launchpad does not take an equity stake in accelerator portfolio startups, but instead focuses on developing companies and their ecosystems over the long term,” said Kevin O’Toole, head of international growth for Launchpad, Google.

Social Alpha is a startup incubator sponsored by Mumbai-based not-for-profit Tata Trusts. It provides seed and early-stage capital and is focused on technology-driven startups. The organisation also provides services to address the challenges of scaling and sustainability in social entrepreneurship.

In June 2019, Social Alpha collaborated with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and IT firm Mphasis to launch an accelerator programme aimed at developing assistive technologies for persons with disabilities.

Google Developers Launchpad is an accelerator programme, which aims to help startups build and scale AI-driven companies using its resources. The programme provides mentorship, equity-free support and access to experts.

Last year, Google Developers Launchpad Studio programme had selected AI-driven enterprise solutions provider MPaani Solutions. The startup was then inducted into a four-month programme at Google’s headquarters in California.