Google opens applications for AI Accelerator Africa

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 30 Apr 2024
Eligible start-ups must be based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions.
Eligible start-ups must be based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions.

Google Africa has opened applications for the eighth edition of its Google for Start-ups Accelerator Africa programme.

According to the internet giant, this year’s cohort will have a strong focus on start-ups leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to address critical challenges and unlock new opportunities across the continent.

The Google for Start-ups Accelerator Africa is a three-month, equity-free virtual programme that provides African start-ups with mentorship, technical resources and access to a global network of experts and investors.

Since inception in 2018, the initiative has supported 106 start-ups from 17 African countries, which have collectively raised over $263 million and created more than 2 800 direct jobs, according to Google.

“We're excited to support the next generation of African AI pioneers through the Google for Start-ups Accelerator, providing them with the resources and mentorship they need to build successful, impactful businesses,” says Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of Start-ups Ecosystem, Africa at Google.

“Africa's tech ecosystem is a hotbed of innovation, and AI has the potential to be a transformative force across various sectors.”

In Africa, digital transformation is accelerating rapidly and start-ups play a vital role in shaping the continent’s future, notes Google.

As the lifeblood of innovation, start-ups are driving economic growth, creating jobs and solving some of society's most pressing challenges, it says.

The programme will run from June to September, and will include:

  • Equity-free support: Up to $350 000 in Google Cloud credits.
  • Mentorship: Personalised guidance from Google AI experts, seasoned entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
  • Technical workshops: In-depth training on AI/ML development, product strategy and scaling.
  • Global network: Connections to potential investors, partners and customers.
  • Community: A supportive network of fellow founders facing similar challenges and opportunities.

Eligible start-ups must be based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions and should be utilising AI/ML in a transformative way.

Applications will close on 20 May and must be submitted via the accelerator website.