UPDATE: If you would like to meet these 12 startups in one room, you could do so, today June 8, by visiting Impact Hub where they will be showcased to a number of investors during the demo day.
Last July, Google announced its commitment to supporting startups on the continent. Today, the company officially launched Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa to be hosted in Lagos, Nigeria.
The giant search engine also launched a scholarship programme that’s designed to train 10 million Africans in the next 5 years while also providing scholarships for 15,000 developers by partnering with Udacity and Andela.
The Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme, which has 12 startups on its first cohort, is a 3-month programme aimed at connecting startups across the continent to the best of Google.
Out of the 12 startups selected from over 140 applications, 6 of them are Nigerian:
- Babymigo: A social community for expecting mothers and young parents.
- Kudi: An AI-powered chatbot that provides access to electronic banking and financial services.
- OkadaBooks: An an e-publishing platform that allows users easily create, spread and sell their stories/books/documents online.
- Piggybank.ng: An online savings platform that allows users securely save money periodically till they reach a savings target.
- Riby: A peer-to-peer finance management systems platform for cooperatives and their members that allows them to plan, save, borrow, and collaborate.
- Thrive Agric: A platform that crowdfunds investments for smallholder farmers, and provides this to them in form of inputs, tech-driven advisory and access to market.
The startups from other African countries are:
- Flexpay (Kenya): An automated and secured finance management platform for business owners.
- Pezesha (Kenya): A peer-to-peer microlending marketplace that uses credit and data analytics to connect lenders with low-income borrowers
- OMG Digital (Ghana): A media platform that provides entertaining content for African millennials.
- swiftVEE (South Africa): A platform that connects livestock agencies to a network of buyers and sellers.
- TangoTv (Tanzania): A media streaming and video on demand (VoD) service for African films and shows.
- Teheca (Uganda): Teheca helps families and individuals find the right health care providers/workers in Uganda.
The plan is to support 60 African startups over the next 3 years, with a total sum of $3 million earmarked for the programme in form of equity-free support, working space, access to expert advisers, travel and PR support.
Speaking during the launch, Google Regional Manager for the Sub-Saharan Africa Ecosystem, Andy Volk said the continent is home to incredibly smart people that are using local solutions to address the continent’s problems.
“The next wave of innovation for Africa will be from Africa,” Andy said.
Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, Country Director of Google Nigeria, believes supporting African startups to grow will help reduce unemployment rate while also boosting the economy.