Google has opened applications to its Launchpad Accelerator to startups from a host of African countries, aimed at boosting business growth through mentorship and funding.
Disrupt Africa reported in February Google was bringing the Launchpad Accelerator to Africa, aimed at assisting startups in leveraging Google’s latest technologies to scale their businesses through mentoring.
It was subsequently expanded, with startups from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda now covered.
The initiative will operate from a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos – the first onsite location for the programme outside the United States (US) – and 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 over the next three years.
Participants will also receive travel and PR support during the three-month programme, with the first application period open until December 11. The first class will start in early 2018, with more classes to be hosted in 2018 and beyond.
Applicants must be technology startups, based in Sub-Saharan Africa and targeting the African market, and have already raised seed funding. Google will look at the problem teams are trying to solve, and how they create value for users.
“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations,” said Andy Volk, Sub-Saharan Africa ecosystem regional manager at Google.
“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 market.”