Google unveils artificial intelligence program for African startups
Google says African startups can now apply for its 10-week equity-free accelerator programme.
In a statement on Tuesday, the tech giant said the programme, tagged ‘Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First’, is open for application.
Google said the initiative would support African startups looking to use artificial intelligence to solve local challenges.
“Applications for the 10-week equity-free accelerator are now open, inviting startups up to series A stage based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions with AI and machine learning,” the statement reads.
“Participants will benefit from access to Google’s AI expertise, and technical resources including up to $350,000 Google Cloud credits, mentorship from seasoned AI professionals, and invaluable networking opportunities.
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“This programme recognises the transformative role that AI is playing across the world, innovating industries, and reimagining the realms of possibilities.”
Google said the programme also highlights the significant contributions of African startups in addressing some of the region’s most pressing challenges through the use of AI, adding that the primary aspiration remains to support and “highlight African-driven solutions”.
Commenting on the initiative, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s head of startup ecosystem, Africa, said, the continent’s tech landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving.
He said it was inspiring to see African startups not only harnessing AI to address the continent’s unique challenges but also setting benchmarks for the world.
“‘AI First’ is more than a programme,” Aiyegbusi said.
“It’s a testament to our belief in the vision of these startups, ensuring they have the support and guidance they need to realise their full potential.”
Since its inception in 2018, the Startups Accelerator Africa programme has supported 106 startups from 17 countries in the region.
The technology firm said these startups have collectively raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 direct job opportunities in the region.
Google said interested startups are advised to apply by September 6, 2023 and submit applications, via g.co/acceleratorafricahttp://g.co/acceleratorafrica.