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A seed program initiative, Kstart, started by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital, has roped in Google as its technology partner.

The association will help seed-stage Kstart portfolio companies to have access to Google’s mentors, investors, a network of partners and products. Google will provide its extensive global network and experts in Silicon Valley and other global locations. Besides local connections with business partners, PR support and regional venture capital fund connections are also a core component of this partnership. Google has also decided to select a few Kstart portfolio companies for grants of up to $ 50K.

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Sunil Rao, Country Head: Strategic Partner Development, VCs and Startups, Google India, said that Google’s global expertise of working with startups will help mentor the Kstart portfolio companies across areas such as product management, UI & UX, growth hacking and bringing the startups up to speed in terms of latest in technology. On the other side, Kstart team will play a role in hosting the incubatee companies by providing world class infrastructure, access to funds, legal and marketing help which the early stage startups can benefit immensely.

Earlier in February, Kalaari Capital had set up Kstart program, with an aim to transform young companies into successful, scalable and sustainable businesses. It aims at providing the requisites like community, capital, partnership, continuous learning and access to resources.

Vani Kola, MD of Kalaari Capital said, “Google is one of the most admired technology companies by entrepreneurs. Its various programs to invest into the startup ecosystem is noteworthy. We applaud Google’s efforts to make it easy for Kstart companies to benefit through continuous learning, scaling and accessing their key technologies and mentors.”

The initiative has also partnered with distinguished leaders, called Kstart catalysts, like Rajan Anandan – VP & MD SE Asia & India Google, Varsha Rao – Head of Global Operations Airbnb, Ratan Tata – Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons; Zia Mody– Managing Partner, AZB & Partners; Padmasree Warrior-CEO, NextEV Inc, USA; Muthiah V-Consultant, Spencer Stuart; Anil K. Gupta-Professor, University of Maryland and Meeta Malhotra, Former Partner, Ray + Keshavan. Kstart Catalysts will also be co-investors in the companies. The catalysts will advise and guide the startups in their entrepreneurial journey.


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