Flipkart launches start-up accelerator programme ‘Flipkart Leap’

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on August 10, 2020 Published on August 10, 2020

Shortlisted start-ups will undergo a 16-week mentorship programme and win an equity-free grant of $25,000

E-commerce major Flipkart announced the launch of ‘Flipkart Leap’, its first start-up accelerator programme to help new and upcoming start-ups grow, scale, navigate challenges and in turn contribute to India’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

With the call for entries beginning on Monday, Flipkart Leap will identify around six-eight B2C and B2B start-ups who will receive an equity-free grant of $25,000 and help them scale through an intensive 16-week virtual programme. Throughout the programme, Flipkart’s leadership from business, operations, product and technology segments will mentor the selected start-ups and share best practices, in addition to masterclass sessions hosted by industry experts.

The start-ups applying for Flipkart Leap should be based out of India and should have a working prototype with early adoption metrics. Post the completion of the programme, the final participants of Flipkart Leap will pitch their successful model to investors, corporates and other ecosystem players on demo day and may also be considered for funding by Flipkart.

Flipkart Leap has identified five themes to shortlist relevant, high-potential start-ups. These include ‘Design & Make for India’, ‘Innovation in Digital Commerce’, ‘Technologies to Empower the Retail Ecosystem’, ‘Supply Chain Management & Logistics’ and ‘Enabling Relevant Deep-Tech Applications’. These themes have been identified to tap into the most innovative solutions in the technology and consumer internet space, uniquely built for Indian consumers.

The programme has been designed and will be managed by Flipkart’s product strategy and deployment team, led by Naren Ravula. The team is responsible for shepherding innovation within the Flipkart e-commerce companies (Flipkart & Myntra) and the broader ecosystem. With the focus on bringing innovation to not just India but Bharat users primarily based out of Tier-II and -III+ cities, the 16-week programme curated in partnership with Zinnov, will open opportunities for start-ups to prepare their innovative solutions to be market-ready.

Unlocking potential

Commenting on the launch, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group said: “The journey for Flipkart, from its launch to becoming one of the most-loved homegrown brands, has been a true harbinger of the potential of the start-up ecosystem in India. With innovations and disruptions in the field of technology coming about each day, we want to be at the forefront of driving scalability and helping these start-ups bring value to the industry as well as Indian consumers.”

“Flipkart Leap is aimed at unlocking this potential and nurturing new ideas that bring innovation, curiosity and unconventionality to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, while boosting the government’s ‘Start-Up India’ initiative,” he added.

India currently has the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with consistent annual growth of 12-15 per cent, according to industry reports. In fact, as per the report, there are 2-3 tech start-ups born in India every day. The booming ecosystem has given rise to some of the best start-up journeys in the last few years. With growing governmental support — both at the Central and State levels — and an improving regulatory environment for starting up, the segment is well-poised to effectively tap into the next billion consumers.

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Published on August 10, 2020
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