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Flipkart 'Leap' to nurture tech, consumer Internet startups

E-commerce marketplace Flipkart today launched its first startup accelerator program to help new and upcoming companies in technology and consumer Internet space to grow, scale and navigate challenges.

Called Flipkart Leap, the program will identify business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) startups and help them scale through an intensive 16-week virtual program, the company said in a statement.

Throughout the program, Flipkart's leadership from business, operations, product and technology will mentor the selected startups and share best practices, in addition to master class sessions hosted by industry experts.

The 16-week program, curated in partnership with global management and strategy consulting firm Zinnov, will open opportunities for startups to prepare their innovative solutions to be market-ready and allow them to win an equity-free grant of $25,000 (around Rs 19 lakh).

The startups applying for 'Flipkart Leap' should be based out of India and should have a working prototype with early adoption metrics, Flipkart said, adding that the call-for-entries began today.

Post the completion of the program, the final participants will pitch their successful model to investors, corporates and other ecosystem players on the demo-day and may also be considered for funding by Flipkart.

"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 startups bring value to the industry as well as Indian consumers," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group.

'Flipkart Leap' has identified five themes to shortlist relevant high-potential startups.

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.

The focus is on bringing digitisation and tech advancement in these thematic areas, including any startups that will be working on disruptive solutions that have the potential to transform the landscape of e-commerce in the next five years, Flipkart said..