Google officially announced that it would provide over $3 million in equity-free support under Google Developers Launchpad Africa to startups based in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa over the next three years.
The move comes in line with Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai commitment to provide a major boost to African entrepreneurs earlier this year.
“Our new hands-on comprehensive mentor-ship program tailored exclusively to startups based in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa,” he said.
The startups would also receive working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley and Africa. 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 onsite location for the programme outside the U.S.
Google Kenya Country Manager, Charles Murito stated: “Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations.”
He added that 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. Kenya now has an opportunity to get involved.
Participants will also receive travel and PR support during the three-month programme.
The first application period is now open through December 11 and the first class will start in early 2018. More classes will be hosted in 2018 and beyond.
To qualify, all startups must fulfill the following basic requirements:
- Be a technology startup.
- Be based in Sub-Saharan Africa and target the African market.
- Have already raised seed funding
In addition, Google will 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?
- Will you share what you learn in Silicon Valley for the benefit of other startups in your local ecosystem?
“We very much look forward to welcome the first cohort of innovators from Kenya for Launchpad Africa and continue to work together to drive innovation in the African market,” Charles Murito concluded.