In 2021, 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. Aiming to help India’s next generation of innovators unlock this growth opportunity, MeitY Startup Hub, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and Google today announced a cohort of 100 Indian early to mid-stage startups it aims to help build high-quality global apps and games as part of the Appscale Academy.
Startups of the Appscale Academy cohort are solving for some of India’s daily, critical, and unique needs through creative homegrown solutions. This comprises 4 emerging startups based in Kerala across a diverse range of categories, including learning app Lifescool, sports news app LockerRoom India, online game Darkarta, and an astrology app for positive guidance Clickastro.
A growth and development program 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.
The cohort’s main sectors span 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. Representing the talent diversity emerging among India’s startup and developer ecosystem, 35% of the cohort come from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, while 58% of the cohort have a woman in a leadership role.
During her address at the program’s launch, 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. We thank MeitY Startup Hub for their partnership and vision, and look forward to taking another step towards growing a diverse app ecosystem in India together. Welcome to the inaugural Appscale Academy class, a cohort of 100 promising app-preneurs who have inspired us by their creativity and audacity.”
Bhuvnesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, MeitY, added, “Startups and developers are key drivers of India’s digital transformation journey. We are seeing them drive meaningful solutions for India and the world, a spirit that is today widespread across the country with a new wave of creative app-preneurs emerging from different parts of India. We at MeitY value our partnership with Google, and it gives me immense delight to further boost this spirit of innovation with the Appscale Academy Program.”
Jeet Vijay, CEO, MeitY Startup Hub, said, “Our mission with Appscale Academy is to empower early to mid-stage startups with the right knowledge and mentorship to drive app and game innovations for the world. Our cohort of 100 Indian startups are ensuring that a homegrown solution for many of our daily, critical, and unique needs is today just an app away. Congratulations to all the startups and thank you for being core drivers of India’s digital journey.”
As part of the 6 month program, 100 startups will be trained through a customized curriculum designed to help them drive high-quality apps for a global market, including sessions on UX design, business model and monetization 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. Select startups will also get an opportunity to pitch to leading venture capitalists.