12 startups selected for first African Google Launchpad Accelerator

Google has announced the 12 startups that will participate in the first Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa class at an event held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Disrupt Africa reported in February of last year Google was bringing the Launchpad Accelerator to Africa, aimed at assisting startups in leveraging Google’s latest technologies to scale their businesses through mentoring.

The programme, which runs for three months and will operate out of Lagos, will over the next three years provide African startups with over US$3 million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa.

A total of 12 startups from across Africa have been selected to participate in the inaugural edition, including six from Nigeria: parenting community platform Babymigo, payments service Kudi, e-books service OkadaBooks, savings platform Piggybank.ng, P2P banking platform Riby, and agricultural crowdfunding platform Thrive Agric.

Kenya is represented by two startups, namely layaway e-commerce system Flexpay and P2P microlending platform Pezesha, while there are also representatives from Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda in the form of media platform OMG Digital, livestock buying and selling service swiftVEE, VoD service TangoTv and e-health platform Teheca.

“We are thrilled to announce this, the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class, and look forward to working with them to drive innovation into the African market. Africa is home to some incredibly smart people who are working to solve the continent’s problems using homegrown solutions, and we’re honoured to be able to be part of that,” said Andy Volk, Sub-Saharan Africa ecosystem regional manager at Google.

Google also announced a partnership with Udacity and Andela to provide 15,000 single course scholarships and 500 nanodegree scholarships to aspiring and professional developers across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

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