TechInAfrica – Google Launchpad is a program devised by the famous search engine giant to help startups in regions by enrolling them in various programs to better suit their needs. You may have seen our story on Bidaya, a Morocco-based incubator that offers programs for startups in their seed-stage to get up on their own feet. Well, Google Launchpad does similarly to that, only that their programs are more extensive and broader. Just like Bidaya, it also offers numerous plans ranging on various time periods. One such plan is that of Launchpad Accelerator, a six-month program that introduces newly-arranged startups to their local market. Startups will be able to benefit from Google’s human and technical resources—namely their expert engineers, global media and PR opportunities, and equity-free support.
You can watch the promotional video of Launchpad Accelerator below:
The third class of Launchpad Accelerator Africa has just graduated in June 21, 2019, raising 9 million dollars at the extent of 12 startups in total—while at the same time creating 120 jobs. The graduation, which took place in Lagos, revealed that approximately 270,000 individuals have been identified as the startups’ users of products and services.
It’s graduation day for the #LaunchpadforAfrica! Our head of Brand and Reputation for Africa, Jola Aderemi- Makinde is welcoming the graduation class. Explaining that they are part of a bigger Africa commitment from Google. pic.twitter.com/79qfIldFdT
— Google in Africa (@googleafrica) June 21, 2019
Considering the third class is now no longer under supervision, Google now opens registration to apply for the fourth class program. Top seed-stage African technology startups domiciled in the sub-Saharan are encouraged to have raised seed funding before applying. In addition, Google analyzes all the aspects in the application—what problem is the startup trying to solve, their methods, the significance of value for users, and how it affects locally, nationally, or even globally.
Participants of the program are assisted in technical technology challenges, leadership challenges, day-to-day operations, as well as growing their firms through business planning and fundraising.
Matthew Westaway, co-founder of Voyc.ai, led one of the teams that enrolled in the previous class of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa. He admitted that Google has given them ‘extremely valuable’ experience for him and his team for a period of six months. The highlight of their time was one-on-one mentoring sessions with experts regarding use of data and Google Analytics. The team of six (including him) currently generates a revenue of about $10,000 per month after raising $230,000—in which a big chunk of it came from Techstars and SAP—and is aiming to generate as high as $80,000 a month by next year. Business opportunities also came easily for the customer delivery company, Westaway spoke. A big research company of Lagos took interest in them and is now talking about running a project together with Google.
First announced in March last year, the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program aims to cover all African countries in the coming months, contrary to the limited 17 countries at present. Even so, both direct and indirect contributions will also have to be made for startups excluded in the original 17. Their capabilities on strengthening their impact on locals, along with resolving legal matters would serve as a steadfast foundation for them to be informally eligible to apply.
It is also worth nothing that the first two classes of Launchpad Accelerator Africa consisted of 23 startups. During and after the program, they have created 385 direct jobs and raised over 19 million dollars. You can read more about the program by visiting their page.
Startups hailing from Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote D’ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are welcome to apply for the fourth class of Launchpad Accelerator Africa by filling this form.