Applications open for Launchpad Africa accelerator

Google has launched applications for its Launchpad Africa accelerator to early-stage startup from across a number of countries across the continent.

The tech giant will take on 10 startups in the programme’s first cohort, set to start early next year in Lagos, Nigeria — from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The three-month accelerator programme is aimed at early-stage tech startups in Africa that target the African market and have already raised seed funding. Those startups chosen can get equity-free support and the programme will conclude with a demo day to provide exposure for the startups.

The launch of the application process follows an announcement in July by Google CEO Sundar Pichai that the tech company would launch its first accelerator outside of the US in Lagos.

Read more: Google Launchpad to provide over $3m to more than 60 African startups – CEO

Google plans to run two cohorts a year for three years before it assesses the programme. The tech giant has budgeted $3-million for the programme over the first three years.

‘Launchpad to develop ecosystem’

Talking on the sidelines of the Africacom conference which ends in Cape Town today, Google’s head of Sub-Saharan Africa ecosystem Andy Volk told Ventureburn that the aim of the accelerator is to develop the ecosystem of software suppliers and developers on the continent.

This would ultimately benefit Google in that more software developers and startups would adopt Google products.

“Because if you have a thriving ecosystem of developers and startups and another group of Google makes the best platforms possible, they are naturally going to use it (Google products). I mean Android is already relevant in Africa,” said Volk, who conceived the idea for the Africa accelerator.

Read the full VentureBurn article here.