Google Reveals New Mentorship Program And Launchpad Space For African Startups

Mentorship program - Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes a selfie with Nigerians during his visit to the country. Photo - TechDemiGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai takes a selfie with Nigerians during his visit to the country. Photo – TechDemi

Google has launched a mentorship program that is specifically focused on supporting African tech entrepreneurs, with a new Google Launchpad space now available in Nigeria.

Google Developers Launchpad Africa, which will operate from a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos, is a mentorship program that aims to provide tech startups based in Africa with the tools to build sustainable businesses, according to ITNewsAfrica.

The Google Launchpad Space in Nigeria is the first onsite location for the program outside of the U.S.

The Google Developers Launchpad Africa program is currently accepting applications for the first Launchpad Africa class, set for Nigeria in early 2018, according to Google.

Applications are open to tech startups in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, as long as these startups have already raised seed funding.

African startups involved in this three-month mentorship program will receive over $3 million in equity-free support, working space, travel, public relations support, and access to tech and business experts from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the next three years.

New Google mentorship program to support startups

Andy Volk, sub-Saharan Africa ecosystem regional manager for Google, said that the company is excited to continue their work with innovative startups on the continent.

“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations,” says Volk, according to IOL.

“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,” he added.

“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 market,” he said.

Earlier this year JUMO, the financial services platform for emerging markets, was the first South African startup to be selected by Google for its Launchpad accelerator, reports Ventureburn.

As a result a number of leaders within the company benefited from a two-week boot camp at Google’s headquarters in California between July 17 and 28, with six months ongoing support and mentorship, as well as $50,000 in funding allocated to the startup.

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