Facebook rolls out new initiatives, expands current programs for startups in India

Facebook today said that it is devoted to foster the growing tech ecosystem in India and reaffirmed its commitment to offer valuable and meaningful support to more entrepreneurs & startups through its key programs.
Speaking at Facebook India Startup Day, an initiative to celebrate stories of tech and a forum to bring the ecosystem together, Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia remarked, “We believe when startups flourish, India will prosper. At Facebook we are committed to paving the way for the success of the new generation of startups in India and understand that access to resources, people and networks can be a powerful catalyst for their growth. That's why we are creating programs that can fuel startups to build businesses of tomorrow through mentoring, regular trainings, workshops and meetups.” 
“Within this year, we have worked closely with over 200 startups through our programs: India Innovation Hub, SheLeadsTech and Code for the Next Billion, to help them build better products and grow their businesses. Our initiatives seek to empower India's vibrant startup ecosystem; be it helping startups with the use of emerging technologies like AR/VR, giving women-led startups the right channels, or supporting companies that are building solutions for social impact,” Satyajeet Singh added.
Not just businesses, Facebook is also nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of students and is encouraging them to think about deep tech and product innovation. It said its first batch of School of Innovation program, of 10 student teams have built their VR ideas into working product prototypes which will showcased on a demo day, early next year. Besides these programs, 21,000 people have also completed self- training modules via Facebook's Startup Training Hub, which was launched last year. 
Pledging more support, Facebook announced that it is expanding efforts to include more cities and aspiring entrepreneurs, and outlined ways it would be supporting startups in the coming year:


  • SheLeadsTech Roadshow: Facebook's flagship program for women-led startups, SheLeadsTech will see more organized efforts in Tier II cities via SheLeadsTech Roadshow, a movement to inspire more women to think technology and entrepreneurship, and convert their ideas into startups. Through community efforts and encouragement, SheLeadsTech Roadshow will grow women networks to learn from other women about challenges and opportunities and take the leap to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. To begin with, SheLeadsTech Roadshow will travel to over 10 cities including Jaipur, Panjim, Kochi, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Shillong. Currently, SheLeadsTech program supports over 170 women founded startups in 24 cities by providing access to community, tools, mentorship and resources to overcome barriers and succeed in building a business in technology.
  • Is setting up three Innovation Hubs: Facebook will collaborate with co-working spaces in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru to set up community hubs called Innovation Hubs, that will seek to foster innovation by hosting mentor hours and trainings for startups. This comes in close to the first anniversary mark of India Innovation Hub in Hyderabad, which saw VR startups (from India Innovation Hub Accelerator Program) benefit from coming together for bootcamps and online interactions that helped them to build their ideas.
  • Will double its reach via Developer Circles : India is home to one of the largest developer and startup communities, and we have been working to create a network of developers. Through Developer Circles we provide developers a platform to connect and collaborate , and encourage community learning and coding via local meet ups and online groups. Today, we have a community of 50,000 in 15 cities and plan to expand to 100,000 developers in over 20 cities by June 2019.

Keeping up with the spirit of The Facebook India Startup Day, Facebook also hosted India Startup Awards to recognize some of the most path-breaking work of India's disruptive startup ecosystem and awarded winners in five categories including:


  • She Leads Tech to recognize the most successful tech startup launched and or led by a woman founder or co-founder
    • Greenway Grameen a startup that designs & distributes life-improving products amongst low-income markets. Its products solve some of the most critical problems that consumers face like clean cooking, electricity access and even internet use.
  • Building for the World: to recognize a company that has seen success outside India and are working on solutions that are being used on a global scale
    • Nanoclean a company that produces affordable bio safe nanofibers with its proprietary polymer technology. Nanoclean Limited's first commercial product, Nasofilter, is the first ever non-inserted, hypo allergenic and self-adhering nanotechnology-based respiratory disposable nasal filter in the world. Costing just Rs.10 and very convenient to use, it has the potential to change how India and the rest of the world uses respiratory protection devices.
  • Building for Tomorrow: to award a startup using emerging technologies such as AR/VR to reinvent how business and society can come up with solutions
    • Scapic, a platform that lets people create, share and explore immersive experiences. It helps users to build Virtual, Augmented or Mixed Reality content easily, for social media, the web and spatial devices.
  • Building for the Next Billion to recognize startups developing and implementing solutions for social, cultural and environmental issues in India 
    • Aye Financea startup built on the mission of transforming the micro and small enterprise lending in India by providing inclusive finance at affordable price to this ‘missing middle’. Aye Finance has developed a unique “Cluster-based Credit Assessment” methodology that utilizes deep insights of operations of a business cluster and make good lending decisions despite the absence of business accounts, credit histories or banking track records.
  • Community Builder to recognize startups that are building solutions to support the developer startup community in India
    • Hasura a platform that helps developers build, develop and scale their apps. It has instant APIs for rapid development, and it helps create a to-do app within three minutes.

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