Remember Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa — the startup accelerator program inaugurated last year? Well, the search giant from Mountain View, California, plans on expanding it to cover more countries as opposed to six in the inaugural edition.
The maiden batch of Launchpad Accelerator consisted of startups from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Now that this batch of 12 startups has graduated the program, Google has announced that emerging businesses from 12 additional countries are welcome to apply for the program.
These newly added countries include Zimbabwe, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Algeria, Cameroon, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, and Senegal.
Lagos (Nigeria) will host the forthcoming edition of the program with participating startups receiving equity-free support. Some of the major perks offered by the program include access to coworking space, Google engineers, Silicon Valley experts, regional mentors, and much more.
Google is yet to officially confirm if it will offer equity-free funding to the participating startups. However, considering that businesses that were part of the first cycle had received $10,000 each, it is highly likely that a similar offer will be in place in the second cycle too.
Meanwhile, speaking of the successful completion of the first cycle, Folagbade Olatunji-David, the Head of Startup Success and Services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Google, said last week, “The three-month programme has connected the 12 participating startups 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 startups have directly created 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users.”