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Friday, June 21, 2019

Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa: Class 3 graduates in Lagos, new applications opens - ITREALMS

The batch three of the Launchpad Accelerator Africa class has graduated today in Lagos, with a total of 12 startups, reports ITREALMS.

Google’s regional startup accelerator programme, Launchpad Accelerator Africa reports 
ITREALMS, runs out of a dedicated space in Lagos since 2017 committed to training 60 African startups over 3 years, representing over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa.

Participants also receive travel and PR support during each three-month programme.
ITREALMS also gathered that part of the programme run by Google as part of its ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship on the continent, Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 3 comprised 12 startups from six African countries selected form Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda - 58 per cent of which have female co-founders.

All of the teams participating in Class 3 have been trained in machine learning technologies and are implementing AI in their offerings as a result.

“This represents an alignment towards building AI-first startups powered by Google technology. The startups 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," said head of startup success and services, Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Fola Olatunji-David.

Also, he said, “We know that Africa is awash with entrepreneurial potential. If that potential is to be transformed into job creation, startups founded by those entrepreneurs need to grow. This programme is about giving them the best possible chance of achieving that growth.”

He stressed that the graduating startups 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 startups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent. Google thrives when other business thrives,” he said.

Further, Fola confirmed to 
ITREALMS that Class 4 will kick off later this year, even as the application has opened today, Friday, June 21 through July 26, this year, which will see some 12 African startup completing the three-month acceleration programme.
ITREALMS gathered that the 12 startups that graduated Friday include 54Gene (Nigeria): Improves drug discovery by researching multiple genetically diverse African populations; Data Integrated Limited (Kenya): Automates and digitises SME payments, connecting the street to high finance; Instadiet.me (Egypt): Connects patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians online to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight. Kwara (Kenya): Provides a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem; and OkHi (Kenya): A physical addressing platform for emerging markets that is on a mission to enable the 4 billion without a physical address to “be included”.

Equally, include PAPS (Senegal): A logistics startup with a strong client-care orientation, focused on last mile delivery in the domestic market that features live tracking, an intelligent address system and automatic dispatch; ScholarX (Nigeria): An education startup that connects high potential students with funding opportunities to help them advance in their studies; Swipe2pay (Uganda) - A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs by making it easy for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment; Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya): The Tambua App turns a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report; Voyc.ai (South Africa): Voyc.ai's CX Research Platform helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, personas and customer journey maps; WellaHealth (Nigeria): A pharmacy marketplace for affordable high-quality disease-care (such as malaria treatment) driven by artificial intelligence; and

Zomila (formerly Zelda Learning) (South Africa): Provides free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and then links them to funding and study opportunities.


Remmy Nweke/DoP

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