By Juliet Umeh
The third Launchpad Accelerator Africa class, who graduated weekend in Lagos, have raised close to $9-million in funding, created more than 120 jobs and their products and services have over 270 000 users.
The graduates, comprising 12 start-ups from six African countries – Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda have 58 percent of female as co-founders.
The programme, which had graduated two sets is part of efforts by, Search Engine, Google, to support entrepreneurship on the continent and giving them chance of achieving growth
Head of start-up success and services, Fola Olatunji-David, said all of the teams participating in Class 3 were trained in machine learning technologies and are implementing AI in their offerings as a result.
He said Launchpad Accelerator Africa represents an alignment towards building AI-first start-ups powered by Google technology.
He said the start-ups in this class have raised close to $9-million in funding, created more than 120 jobs and their products and services have over 270 000 users.
Olatunji-David said, “We know that Africa is awash with entrepreneurial potential. If that potential is to be transformed into job creation, start-ups founded by those entrepreneurs need to grow. This programme is about giving them the best possible chance of achieving that growth.”
The graduating start-ups now form part of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa’s alumni along with the 23 startups from Classes 1 and 2 who between them have created 385 direct jobs and raised over $19-million before, during and after they participated in the programme.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent. We’re currently as a region creating about 3 million jobs per year while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and start-ups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent. Google thrives when other business thrives,” he adds, while stating that applications for Class 4 opened June 21 and closes July 26.