In line with its commitment to support the growth of businesses in Africa, especially entrepreneurs, Google has announced the launch of its Launchpad Accelerator programme, which will provide a major boost to African entrepreneurs.
“As part of our promise to support African entrepreneurs earlier this year, we’re excited to announce Google Developers Launchpad Africa, our new hands-on comprehensive mentorship program tailored exclusively to startups based in Africa,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement today.
Building on the success of Google’s global Launchpad Accelerator programme, this initiative will operate from a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos, the first on-site location for the programme outside the US.
It will provide African startups with over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google and Silicon Valley over the next three years. Participants will also receive travel and Public Relations support during the three-month programme.
The first application period is now open through December 11, 6pm (GMT) and the first class will start in early 2018. More classes will be hosted in 2018 and beyond.
To participate, all startups must be a technology startup, based in Sub-Saharan Africa and target the African market and have already raised seed funding.
Google will additionally consider the problem you are trying to solve. How does it create value for users? How are you addressing a real challenge for your home city, country or Africa broadly?
Secondly, will you share what you learn in Silicon Valley for the benefit of other startups in your local ecosystem?
“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations. Over the years, Google has worked with some incredible startups across Africa, tackling everything from healthcare, education, streamlining e-commerce to improving the food supply chain. We very much look forward to welcoming the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Africa and continue to work together to drive innovation in the African,” says Andy Volk, Sub-Saharan Africa Ecosystem Regional Manager.