NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – Four Kenyan tech start-ups have been admitted to Google’s Launchpad Accelerator class that will see 12 companies from six African countries join the accelerator program.
The program, which is admitting its third cohort, starts in April and will involve startups from Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya.
Kenya’s digital payments startups Data Integrated and Kwara, which provides a banking platform to MFIs and SACCOs, will join a physical addressing platform, OkHi, in the accelerator program.
Health app Tambua, which provides a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia, also made it to the final group of mentees from Kenya.
“These companies will join other startups in the Launchpad programme, present and past, that are using technology to create a positive impact on key industries in their region. We look forward to supporting and connecting them with startup ecosystems around the world,” said Fola Olatunji-David, Google’s head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Africa.
In addition to the mentorship, the startups will each get Cloud and Firebase Credits, three weeks all-expense-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa (Lagos and Nairobi), access to Google engineers and inclusion in the Launchpad Accelerator Global Community and network of alumni and mentors.
Of these 12 startups, 6 have female co-founders and 9 are either AI-enabled or have AI potential.
To be accepted into Launchpad Accelerator Africa, applicants must be an early stage technology startup based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market, that has already 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 their home city, country or Africa broadly.
Further, Google looks at whether the startup will share what they will learn from the programme for the benefit of other startups in their local ecosystem.
First announced in July 2017, Launchpad Accelerator Africa forms an important part of Google’s initiatives that support the African entrepreneurial ecosystem and builds on the Launchpad programmes already run in Africa, which have successfully connected over 200 African mentors with several hundred African tech startup entrepreneurs through one-week bootcamps in three different African cities over the last two years.
In addition, Google’s global accelerator programme, Launchpad Accelerator, has already enrolled seven African startups (Twiga Foods, JUMO, Paystack, Delivery Science, Helium Health, Paylater and Aerobotics) and provided them with visibility, best-in-class mentorship and access to Google’s network in Silicon Valley.
23 startups have already graduated from the first 2 Launchpad Accelerator Africa classes and the programme has so far helped the participating startups to create jobs and, collectively, raise millions of dollars in funding.