• Google has opened applications for Class 2 of its Launchpad Accelerator program in Africa and extended applications to 12 additional African countries.

Global tech giant, Google, has opened applications for Class 2 of its Launchpad Accelerator program in Africa and extended applications to 12 additional African countries.

The countries are Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Sénégal, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria to make 18 countries alongside the existing six – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda.

Criteria for Class 2 Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa program

- Applications for Class 2 will close on 8 July.

- To qualify, startups have to be a technology startup based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market, and have raised seed funding. Google additionally considers the problem the Startup is trying to solve, how it creates value for users, and how it addresses a real challenge for its home city, country or Africa broadly.

- Interested startups can apply here: https://developers.google.com/startups/regional/

- Google said participants will receive travel and PR support during each three-month program.

Benefits for Startups

As part of all Launchpad regional accelerators, startups receive:

- Equity-free support

- Access to Google engineers and intensive mentoring from 20+ teams

- Access to silicon valley experts and top local mentors

- PR training and global media opportunities

- Close partnership with Google for three months (new classes are accepted twice a year)

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa graduation

On Friday, June 8, 2018, 12 startups from the first class of the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa graduated in Lagos after three months of mentor from experts and networking.

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Folagbade Olatunji-David, the Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google said, “The three-month programme has connected the 12 participating Startups with more than 20 teams from Google as well as 40 mentors from nine countries including India, the UK, USA and Jamaica."

“Each has received $10,000 in an equity-free cash grant, and between them, they have raised over $7 million. The startups have directly created 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users."

Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa

Launchpad Accelerator Africa was announced less than a year ago by Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google for Nigeria. In terms of his announcement, the Google 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 over the next three years.

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“We are humbled to be part of the success stories of these 12 startups, and as individuals, we have learned great lessons from their dedication, focus and drive. The companies will now go on to be part of the global Launchpad Alumni network, joining over 100 companies from 40 countries across 5 continents,” Olatunji-David added.

Google said it 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.