By Juliet Umeh
Search engine platform, Google, recently hosted its first Google Startup Week in Lagos to support start-ups.
The programme saw Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa graduates, from across Africa, pitch for funding from some of Africa and the UK’s top venture capitalists, VCs, and Launchpad Accelerator Africa class 4 graduating from the program.
Also, select alumni from classes 1, 2 and 3 were fresh out of a three-month Google for Start-ups UK Africa Immersion Programme in London.
This is a 12-week immersion programme designed to bring the best of Google and the London start-up ecosystem to tech companies from Africa that do not yet have a presence in the UK.
Google said the programme which was in partnership with Launchpad Accelerator Africa; aims to connect high potential early-stage start-ups with the dedicated support of Google for Start-ups UK to take their start-ups to the next level.
Head of Google for Start-ups UK, Marta Krupinska, said: “Every year, Africa’s economic growth continues to strengthen. Google for Start-ups has put its weight behind supporting the continent’s start-ups as they continue to build great products tackling key global social issues. This is an incredibly exciting space that is very relevant to the UK ecosystem and investors.”
“Having completed their London Immersion, Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 1, 2 and 3 alumni met with investors from the UK and Africa during Google Startup Week in Lagos to pitch for funding to take their businesses further.
“Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 4 graduated this week, as part of the Google Startup Week activities. Class 4 comprises 12 start-ups from six countries, addressing six different sectors.
Google Start-up Week also saw participants from all 4 classes get a chance to engage with each other, and share their experiences for the first time.
“Class 4’s start-ups have collectively raised $4.3m, created over 300 jobs and signed up over 110 000 users. They had collectively raised in excess of $600 000 before the programme, and have been able to use Launchpad Accelerator Africa to scale their businesses to new levels.
Programme’s head of start-up success and services, Fola Olatunji-David, said: “We believe Africans can solve Africa’s problems.
“Launchpad Class 4 is tackling some of Africa’s most pressing challenges, including access to financial services, education, and agriculture.”