Meta has partnered with India’s IT Ministry startup to launch an accelerator that will broaden the innovation of emerging technologies in India such as virtual and augmented reality.
Both MeitY Startup Hub and Meta will work with other 40 early-stage startups in order to help them with research and developing workable products and services. Each of the startups will be given a $25,000 grant as well.
Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta said in a statement, “India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse.”
Meta’s $50 million XR Startup Program and Research Fund is supporting the program and will initially select 80 startups to attend a boot camp. Meta has also said that the program will help startups find customers, build relationships and raise funds.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship stated that the program is especially aimed at helping encourage technology innovation in smaller cities and towns across India.
Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India commented, “India’s rapid tech adoption combined with a vast pool of tech talent puts the country in a vantage position for shaping the future of the internet. “For this future to be equitable, it will require active participation from all stakeholders, including developers, businesses, creators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. We are excited to collaborate with MeitY Startup Hub and hope that the XR Startup Program will act as a catalyst to unlock the use of immersive technology across sectors like education, healthcare, agritech and tourism, not only in India but across the globe.”
Four Indian institutions will implement the program, including IIT Delhi, and will also host a “grand challenge” for innovation in categories such as education, healthcare, entertainment, agritech, climate action, sustainability and tourism.