Early-stage tech startups in Africa can now apply for Google for Startups accelerator


Early-stage tech startups in Africa building solutions to problems on the continent can now apply for the Google for Startups Accelerator program.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is a three-month accelerator program for seed to Series A technology startups across Africa. The program is designed to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to startups that leverage machine learning and AI in their company today or plan to in the future.

The accelerator runs as a fully digital program for a period of 3 months. Selected founders are paired with relevant experts across different sectors. They will receive deep mentorship on technical challenges and machine learning.

Founders will also have access to labs and workshops addressing different aspects of managing a tech startup. The accelerator also includes deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders, specialized training, media opportunities and access to Google’s network of engineers and experts.

Nigerian companies that have participated previously in the program include PiggyVest, Kudi, OkadaBooks, ThankUCash and 54gene, all of whom have gone on to achieve great things.

So far, 82 companies from 17 different African nations have taken part in the program. These companies have raised over US$117 million in capital while employing over 2,800 people throughout the continent.

The Google for Businesses Accelerator Africa program was launched in 2017 with the goal of assisting startups in scaling their solutions across Africa.

Google has shown its commitment to the African tech space through this program and also through the Black Founders Fund.

Who is eligible?

Tech startups from Seed to Series A-stage are eligible for the program. The startups can be focused on any sector such as edtech, healthtech, fintech or mobility.

Applying startups have to be based in Africa or building products designed to solve African problems.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa accepts applications from startups located in Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

For each startup, the CEO and CTO must participate in all three online bootcamps of the program, and a third core team member can also attend, but this is optional. A maximum of three total company representatives can participate in each bootcamp.

What to expect

The first thing of note is that no grants or funding are given to startups on the program. The program however comes with perks such as access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors, during and after the program.

Startups also enjoy early access to new Google products and tools and access to Google’s network of industry experts. Through the program, selected startups will be included in the Google for Startups Accelerator Global Community and network of alumni and mentors, to enhance collaboration and support.

Other benefits include marketing spotlight opportunities, training on design, marketing, and leadership, support on company and product strategy, etc.

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