Oracle has launched a global-first accelerator programme in Bengaluru with the objective of catalyzing India's nascent startup ecosystem and provide a fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India and Make in India initiatives.
The announcement comes close on the heels of Oracle CEO Safra Catz announcing a $400 million investment into the Bengaluru technology centre.
Called the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator, the programme will incubate 5-6 early-stage technology startups building innovative solutions through a six-month acceleration programme that will give them access to mentoring, co-working space, access to Oracle's customers, partners and investors, and free credits on its Oracle Cloud platform.
"We are incubating first in India," said Sanket Atal, group VP, development in Oracle India. "The Indian startup ecosystem is doing incredibly well. We are third or fourth largest startup country in world and with the whole Digital India and Smart Cities initiatives we would like to support the movement and the ecosystem in which we have thrived for so long. We firmly believe that this will help India to leapfrog to the next level," he said.
The centre will be inaugurated by Oracle's president of product development Thomas Kurian on Friday. "Through the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator and the growing popularity of cloud as an alternate computing model, we want to be the catalyst for new business ideas," Kurian said.
Over time, the accelerator programme will also be launched in other eight cities, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Oracle's efforts to leverage its cloud platform is an attempt to compete with IBM, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, all of which have been having a good run in the country.