Earlier this year at Google for Nigeria, our CEO Sundar Pichai made a commitmentto support African entrepreneurs building successful technology companies and products. Following up on that commitment, we're excited to announce Google Developers Launchpad Africa , our new hands-on comprehensive mentorship program tailored exclusively to startups based in Africa.
Building on the success of our global Launchpad Accelerator program, Launchpad Africa will kick-off as a three-month accelerator that provides African startups with over $3 million in equity-free support, working space, travel and PR backing, and access to expert advisers from Google, Africa, and around the world.
The first applicationperiod is now open through December 11, 9am PST and the first class will start in early 2018. More classes will be hosted in 2018 and beyond.
What do we look for when selecting startups?
Each startup that applies to Launchpad Africa is evaluated carefully. Below are general guidelines behind our process to help you understand what we look for in our candidates.
All startups in the program must:
- Be a technology startup.
- Be based in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, or Uganda (stay tuned for future classes, as we hope to add more countries).
- Have already raised seed funding.
Additionally, we also consider:
- The problem you're 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 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 market.