Google is now accepting applications for Class 2 of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa program from startups in 18 countries. Launchpad Accelerator is a 3-month program that helps startups build great products and companies by matching them with the best of Google – its people, network, thought leadership, and technology
The program which includes startups from an initial 6 countries – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda – has been extended in its second class to include startups from 12 more African countries. This means Google is now accepting applications from startups in 18 countries across the continent including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Algeria.
Launched less than a year ago on July 27, 2018 by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in Nigeria, Accelerator Africa seeks to provide African startups with over $3 million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the next three years. Participants in the program receive travel and Public Relations support during each of the three-month programs.
In particular, the program offers:
- Equity-free support
- Two weeks of all-expenses-paid training at Google HQ in Silicon Valley
- Personalized mentorship from Google and Silicon Valley experts
- Credits for Google products
- Global media and marketing spotlight opportunities
- Ongoing support for six months after program completion
- Access to a global community of growth-stage founders and mentors
As the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 2 applications opened at midnight on June 8, 2018, the first class graduated.
To be eligible, start-ups must: be technology startups; be based in Sub-Saharan Africa; target the African market; and have raised seed funding.
Google will additionally consider: the problem the startup is trying to solve; how it creates value for users; and how it addresses a real challenge for its home city, country or Africa broadly.
“The three-month programme has connected the 12 participating startups with more than 20 teams from Google as well as 40 mentors from nine countries including India, the UK, USA and Jamaica. Each has received $10 000 in an equity-free cash grant, and between them they have raised over $7 million. The startups have directly created 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users,” says Folagbade Olatunji-David, Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google.
As part of Google’s commitment to the Sub-Saharan Africa developer ecosystem, it has hosted 13 Launchpad Build and Start events across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa since April 2016, featuring some 228 speakers and engaging 590 attendees from local startups in each country.
It also runs programs such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers – providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements.
Community groups in 140 communities across 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have engaged in activities such as Study Jams which are study groups for developers. Sixty one (61) of these groups hosted 81 Study Jams in 10 countries reaching over 5,000 developers in the last year.
The Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa provides a unique opportunity to startups in these countries. Class 2 applications are welcome until July 8, 2018.
Interested startups can apply at https://developers.google.com/startups/regional/.