Google graduates class 2 of Lunchpad Accelerator Africa programme

Google on Friday graduated the Class 2 of its Lunchpad Accelerator Africa programme in Lagos.

The Country Director, Google, Mrs Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of 11 participants that made it to the Class 2.

Ehimuan-Chiazor while giving an overview of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme described Launchpad as a global mentoring programme that would help start-ups build and scale great products.

According to her, the start-ups will achieve this by matching them with the best of Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies.

“Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa is a regional Launchpad, an acceleration programme for top early-stage African start-ups announced on July 27, 2017 at Google for Nigeria by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and operates out of Lagos, Nigeria.

“Over the next three years (2018 to 2020) the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme will provide African start-ups with over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa. Participants receive travel and PR supports during each three-month program.

“The first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class was announced on November 9 and applications closed on December 10, 2017.

“On March 18, Google announced the start-ups who will participate in the first Google Accelerator Africa Launchpad, including companies from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania.

“To qualify, start-ups had to be a technology start-up, based in Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting the African market that had already risen seed funding.

“Google additionally considered the problem the start up is trying to solve, how it creates value for users, and how they addressed a real challenge for their home city, country or Africa broadly.

“Launchpad Class 1 graduated on June 8, by which time the three month programme had connected the 12 participating start-ups with more than 20 teams from Google as well as 40 mentors from nine countries including India, the UK, USA and Jamaica.

“Each has received $10 000 in an equity-free cash grant, and between them they have raised over $7 million. The start-ups have directly created 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users,” she said.

She said that for the Class 2, applications were announced on June 8, and the programme was extended to include start-ups from a further 11 African countries.

She added that Google was still accepting applications from start-ups in 17 countries across the continent including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cameroon, Botswana, Sénégal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and the existing six – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

She listed the Class 2 start-ups announced on August 27 to comprise 11 start-ups from six countries as: AppZone (Nigeria), Chalkboard Education (Ghana), Cloud9xp (Kenya), EzyAgric (Uganda), Formplus (Nigeria), Medsaf (Nigeria), Mintrics (Egypt), PayGo Energy (Kenya), Pineapple (South Africa), Preeva (South Africa) and Thank U Cash (Nigeria).

She revealed that the Class 3 would kick off in 2019.