Twelve startups have graduated from the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 3.
Launchpad Accelerator Africa is Google’s debut regionally-based startup accelerator program, aimed at offering mentorship and equity-free support to tech startups in Africa.
The program which started last year has aided the creation of one hundred and thirty-two employments, raised more than $7 million in funding plus products gotten from the startups are currently being used by 4.5 million people.
The graduation ceremony happened on Friday at Landmark Leisure Towers.
Speaking recently, head of startup success and services for Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Fola Olatunji-David revealed that the program was created for a few of the most effective start-ups in the region, linking them with Google resources from tech to people.
His words, “The program is essentially Google looking out for some of the best start-ups in the region and connecting them with Google resources from technology, to people, to mentors, to PR and support. And we are saying how can we work with them for three months and connect them and help them grow.”
“We do this by taking them from different African cities, so we started off in Lagos, went to Nairobi and came back to Lagos. The program is done in a series of what we call a high touch point, which is a one-week boot-camp that we do three times, one week, in the beginning, one week in the middle and one week in the end. The last week also doubles as the graduation week that ends in a graduation ceremony that we just finished now.”
He also disclosed that Google selected those that were using technology in an interesting manner.
He continued, “We accept applicants from across Africa, we look out for people who are using technology in an interesting way. So if you are doing finance, agriculture, health care, education, just show us what you are using technology to do and we look up for how can we help you do it better.
“Google is the technology leader in terms of mobile technology, artificial intelligence, so we say how do we take some of the things that have made Google great and help you become greater.”
On the mentorship of those that partook, Fola said they brought in mentors to bond with those that needed them
He said, “During the program, at this boot-camp, we bring in different mentors, so we fly the startups here, we also fly different mentors across Africa to sit down and spend time with them.”
“During the space between all the boot-camps, we spend time connecting with Googlers and mentors, so the startups do not feel isolated. And when they graduate, they are part of our alumni network, where they can always reach out to the mentor, get support, reach out to Google and we also send them early access, so when launching new technologies, they get to experience it first, their engineers can always contact us.”