Overview of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa

Google announced the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class on 9 November and applications closed on 10 December 2017.

There are a number of programmes under the Launchpad banner, including regional Launchpads.

Launchpad Accelerator Africais a regional Launchpad - an acceleration programme for top early-stage African startups. This is the first Launchpad Space outside the US and was announced on 27 July 2017 at Google for Nigeria by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Launchpad Spaces offer a place to explore new technologies and learn how to build startups successfully.

Over the next three years the Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme will provide African startups with over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa. Participants receive travel and PR support during each three-month program.

On 18 March 2018 Google announced the startups who will participate in the first Google, including companies from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania.

To qualify, startups had to be a technology startup, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market that had already raised seed funding. Google additionally considered the problem the start up is trying to solve, how it creates value for users, and how they addressed a real challenge for their home city, country or Africa broadly.

Class One startups by country:

Google is committed to the Sub-Saharan Africa developer ecosystem and has, since April 2016, hosted 13 Launchpad Build and Start events across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, featuring some 228 speakers and engaging 590 attendees from local startups in each country.

It also runs programs such as Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements. Community groups engage in activities like Study Jams - study groups for developers. There are some 140 communities across 25 countries in SSA. Some 61 of these groups hosted 81 Study Jams in 10 countries reaching over 5 000 developers in the last year.

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