Google kicks off its first Launchpad Accelerator Africa in Lagos

Google has revealed the list of Afrikan startups who will participate in the first Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa class. At the announcement that took place in Lagos, Nigeria, Google also announced a partnership with Udacity and Andela to provide 15,000 single course scholarships and 500 nanodegree scholarships to aspiring and professional developers across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Launchpad Accelerator Africa, is a programme for top early-stage African startups that will operate out of Lagos, Nigeria.

“Launchpad Accelerator Africa was announced at Google for Nigeria in July last year. At the time we also announced the extension of our Digital Skills for Africa program to train 10 million Africans, including 100,000 developers, over five years. The scholarships announced today form part of that commitment,” said Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director of Google Nigeria.

The list of startups selected by Google to participate in the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class are:

  • Babymigo - Nigeria - a trusted social community for expecting mothers and young parents.

  • Flexpay - Kenya - an automated and secured layaway e-commerce system.

  • Kudi - Nigeria - payment for Africa through messaging.

  • OkadaBooks - Nigeria - a social platform that allows users easily create, spread and sell their stories/books/documents in a matter of minutes.

  • OMG Digital - Ghana - a media platform that produces hyper-local, engaging and entertaining content African millennials love to consume and share.

  • Pezesha - Kenya - a scalable Peer to Peer microlending marketplace that allows Kenyans to loan to Kenyans, securely, via mobile money using big data and credit analytics.

  • Piggybank.ng - Nigeria - allows Africans put aside little amounts of money periodically till they reach a savings target.

  • Riby - Nigeria - a peer-to-peer banking platform for cooperatives and their members that allows them to save, borrow and invest, together.

  • swiftVEE - South Africa - a platform for connecting livestock agencies to a network of buyers and sellers.

  • TangoTv - Tanzania - a media streaming and video on demand service for African local content; films and shows.

  • Teheca - Uganda - helps families and individuals find the right health care providers/workers in Uganda.

  • Thrive Agric - Nigeria - crowdfunds investments for small holder farmers, and provide this to them in form of inputs, tech driven advisory and access to market.

To be be considered for the programme the startups had to be a technology startup, based in Sub-Saharan Afrika, targeting the African market and have already raised 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 Afrika broadly.

"We are thrilled to announce this, the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class and look forward to working with them to drive innovation into the African market. Africa is home to some incredibly smart people who are working to solve the continent’s problems using homegrown solutions and we’re honoured to be able to be part of that,” said Andy Volk, Sub-Saharan Africa Ecosystem Regional Manager at Google.

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