Flipkart on Monday launched its first startup accelerator program that it said will help new and upcoming startups grow, scale and navigate challenges. Called ‘Flipkart Leap‘, the new venture will identify ‘disruptive’ B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) startups and will conduct a 16-week virtual program. The selected startups will receive $25,000 (~Rs. 18.75 lakh) each as equity-free grant as part of Flipkart’s efforts to contribute to the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The call-for-entries is beginning today, with Flipkart saying that its leadership from business, operations, product and technology will mentor the selected startups and share best practices in addition to masterclass sessions hosted by industry experts. “The program aims to provide tools, framework, knowledge and an ecosystem to help startups create world-class value-driven products by supporting them in building market-ready solutions”, the company said in a press release.

Commenting on the launch, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamoorthy said: “Flipkart Leap aims at unlocking this potential and nurturing new ideas that bring innovation, curiosity and unconventionality to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, while boosting the government’s ‘Startup India’ initiative. 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”.

The program has been designed and will be managed by Flipkart’s Product Strategy & Deployment team led by Naren Ravula. The team is responsible for guiding innovation not only within Flipkart and its subsidiary,  Myntra, but also across the broader ecosystem. As part of Flipkart Leap, they will now be responsible for bringing innovation not just to startups in the metros, but also in tier-2 and tier-3 cities across the country.

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