The second class of startups to go through Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa program graduated in Lagos.
Launchpad Accelerator Africa was announced in July 2017 and will run until 2020, including two intakes of 10 – 12 startups per year, representing an investment of $3m in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the three years. Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month program.
Google has since April 2016, hosted 13 Launchpad Build and Start events across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, featuring some 228 speakers and engaging 590 attendees from local startups in each country.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent. We’re currently, as a region, creating about 3 million jobs per year while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth, and enable both economic and social development on the continent,” says Olatunji-David.
The company also runs programmes such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements. Community groups engage in activities like study groups for developers called Study Jams. There are some 140 communities across 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some 61 of these groups hosted 81 Study Jams in 10 countries reaching more than 5 000 developers in the last year.
Startups in 17 countries across the continent including Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe are able to apply to participate in the program. The next class will open in 2019, and interested startups can see when applications open.
To be eligible, startups have to be technology startups, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market, and have raised seed funding. Google additionally considers the problem each 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.
These are the 11 startups from 6 countries that made up Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class
- AppZone (Nigeria)
- Chalkboard Education (Ghana)
- Cloud9xp (Kenya)
- EzyAgric (Uganda)
- Formplus (Nigeria)
- Medsaf (Nigeria)
- Mintrics (Egypt)
- PayGo Energy (Kenya)
- Pineapple (South Africa)
- Preeva (South Africa)
- Thank U Cash (Nigeria)