Google for Startups is the new name for Google for Entrepreneurs. This is a Google program that offers lessons and mentorship in entrepreneurship to tech startup founders in a number of co-working spaces across the world.
The Google for Startup program brings together ambitious problem solvers, offering them the best of Google in the way of tools, trainings, and connections that could enable them make progress in implementing their big ideas.
It includes a startup residency program that offers the best in mentorship, education, and training in designated campuses; an accelerator program(also based in Google campuses) that helps startups grow and innovate by tapping from Google’s unrivalled knowledge and experience in growing successful enterprises; and the Sand Hill program that offers product support and partnership opportunities to startups that are about to scale.
The Google for Startups program also features introduction to special Google tools like the Google cloud for Startups, which empowers startups to grow with Google infrastructure and the Start on Android, which provides for startups to iterate and optimize their apps before going live on the Google Play Store.
Google for Startups program basically means anybody with an idea can start, grow, and scale with the best of tools currently on offer, and with the connection that only a tech giant like Google can boast of.
But is the actually the case?
Startups sure can use the tools and mentorship from Google, but it has not all been good news about the Google for Startups program. Below we take a look at the bright and dark sides of the Google for Startups program.
The Pros and Cons of Google for Startups
Access to the best of mentorship
The Google for Startups program offers the best of mentorship and trainings to startup founders in campuses around the world, and that’s not even the most amazing thing about the program. The most amazing thing is that the mentorship and trainings are handled by experienced Google employees who have years of experience growing and scaling startups from ideation to big business. This means that startups founder, who possibly have just their big ideas but no clue on ways of turning them into business, get to listen, learn, and acquaint with the best in the game.
Access to Google tools
Startups get free access to the best of Google products to help them build, iterate and optimize their product before going to the market. These tools are very vital to to the success of any startups.
The Google for Startups program does not only offer startup founders access to these Google tools: they are taught the best ways to use them to grow their ideas. This knowledge goes a long way to guide the startup founders on growing their businesses efficiently and cost-effectively through the use of tools, something that probably wouldn’t have been possible without the Google for Startups program.
Access to network of investors
We all agree that having a great idea is just as important as having the capital to grow it into a business in the life of startup. In these days of scaling up fast, investors’ fund is a big factor deciding whether a startup fails or succeed, and how long it takes them to do so. The Google for Startups program does not provide fund directly to startups, but it avails them with the connection to raise funds from established investors.
The program is also supported by different funds that support startups in different niches like environment, Artificial Intelligence, agriculture, and so on. This means that participants can apply for this fund directly, and stand a very big chance of getting them.
At the Google for startups residency, startup founders learn strategies to find the right financial backing for their ideas from experts. They are also visited by investors scouting for the next big idea to fund. This means that having a nice idea and being at the residency is a very big opportunity for you to meet the people you need to grow convert your idea into a problem-solving business.
A platform for selling Google product
Despite all the heartwarming deeds of the Google for Startups program, it also has been established to be a platform for Google to sell its product and services, and there is no denying this at closer look. Developers are encouraged and provided with the tools to build products for Android, a Google-owned operating system, and are taught the best practices of hosting on Google Cloud.
These seem to be such wonderful, altruistic deeds, but they are not when you realize that Google eventually makes money from this partnership.
Not the best place to nurture a disruptive idea.
The second issue most people have with the Google for Startups program is not actually a problem: it is that the program has little or no barriers to entry, and so has brought up apps that are of little import to the world rather than the disruptive ones.
Those with truly disruptive ideas prefer to keep it to themselves, away from the prying eyes of predatory giants (like Google), and this seems to be the case with the Google for Startups program.
The end result is that the program end up churning out feather-weight tech products that the world would rarely use or recognize.
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