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Facebook India will bring its global programmes to further strengthen its engagement with Indian startup ecosystem, said Facebook official on Monday.

Facebook Asia & South Asia Strategic Product Partnerships Head Satyajeet Singh said Facebook strategy is well aligned with India’s bubbling startup ecosystem.

“We have already touched 100 startups as part of our startup programme like Code for the Next Billion and Design4India over the past two years. We are looking at active engagements with designer and developer communities for new products and solutions for our internal platforms and SMEs customers,” he said.

The California-based social network company expanded its global presence with portfolio of products like Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus VR.

“Our engagement with Indian startup began two years back. Besides Developer Circles, Facebook’s programmes like Facebook Start and SheLeadsTech are getting an overwhelming response from India,” he said.

Facebook is on a transitional journey with more focus on hardwares, including smart speaker devices and a model with interactive video-chat capabilities and Oculus with its AR/VR headset. The company is on an aggressive push for digitally sculpt 3D objects in its products.

Recently, Facebook started LDN_LAB programme for startup in London to offer three 12-week courses throughout the year. Facebook is supporting more than 20 startups in areas like software, product development, data science and marketing.

As part of its further engagement with Indian startup, the company announced opening up of Design4India Studio in Bengaluru. “Design4India is a Nasscom initiative built in partnership with Facebook, just over a year old and aims to augment the software product innovation ecosystem in India. The design studio helps startups and designers working in web, mobile, augmented reality and virtual reality platforms,” he said.

Besides access to UX design process, resources, user testing and AR/VR toolkits to enhance their products, the startups will get competitive advantage through live testing and help in rapid prototyping of new products and enable quicker GTM (Go to Market) strategies.

“We are inspiring design thinking in India. We will be taking this pan-India initiative to tier 2 cities as well. Providing the power to build communities is Facebook’s mission. We want to build the overall ecosystem in India,” said Singh.

He also pointed out that design is an integral part of innovation. “Several research data shows that design driven firms outpace others by over 200%. Design as an innovation activity is complementary to R&D as it renovates research into commercially viable products and services, and brings innovation closer to consumer needs,” he said.

Built at WeWork Koramangala, the Design Studio will be an interchangeable, flexible space aiming to harness a hybrid of concepts that will empower startups and product companies to better adapt to new business ecosystems while having a competitive edge with the help of professional mentor guidance, rapid prototyping and user testing.

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