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Leadership / Digital Transformation

Google’s equity-free accelerator targets mobile start-ups

Start-ups could soon be getting help from Google as the company launches its start-up acceleration program.

Not alone in the start-up space, Google’s Launchpad Accelerator joins other programs such as Y Combinator, 500 Start-ups and Techstars.

The accelerator will provide intensive, guided and important free mentoring for start-ups, but never one to follow the crowd, Google has introduced some changes from the traditional model.

In addition to successful applicants being flown to its headquarters in Silicon Valley for two weeks, the company is also only accepting applications from three countries.

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This could be an idea to support start-ups in different countries, to get fresh ideas outside of Silicon Valley.

The three countries will be Brazil, India and Indonesia, with more countries to be added at a later date when it expands the program.

Typically, accelerator programs take a stake in a new company in order to fund it; however, Google has said that it won’t take any equity.

The company is instead offering to invest $50,000 in companies that come through the program, "without a requirement for financial consideration in return," the company said.

To sweeten the deal even further, the company will pay the costs for six months of bringing three team members to its headquarters.

Along with the geographic restrictions on who can apply, the company is also only interested in app developers using its Android operating system and you must already have an existing product.

The benefit for Google appears to be that it can help to draw in new minds to use its platforms and services, potentially getting a strong foothold in developer communities that it launches in.

The program will start on the 18th of January, with the company already selecting the first 24 start-ups; a second selection will be made in the second half of 2016.
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