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Google nestles in with Kenya’s 88mph, SA expansion planned

Looks like Google’s African startup footprint is about grow a little more. Kenyan startup accelerator 88mph has signed a partnership with the tech giant in a bid to ramp up its African expansion.

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The company says it hopes the partnership will “fill the gaps of the nascent startup ecosystem” on the continent. According to The Next Web, the new partnership will allow 88mph to provide a number of extra services, including legal and IP advice, mentoring, and technical workshops.

The first stop in Accelerator’s expansion will see it heading to Cape Town later this year. Google already has a startup programme in the South African city in the shape of its Umbono incubator.

The deal will also allow 88mph to have its own “startup in residence” programme, with four to six seasoned tech entrepreneurs working alongside the startups that join the programme.

“We aren’t simply copying the Y-Combinator model as we don’t believe it is appropriate in an emerging market context. With Google’s support, we are able to provide the extra resources necessary to compensate for a less developed angel and mentor network, which characterizes an emerging market”, 88mph Program Manager in Nairobi Nikolai Barnwell told The Next Web.

88mph has already opened applications for its next group of startups, offering US$6 000 for each founder and up to US$24 000 for between six and 18% equity in each startup.

“There is a huge opportunity for tech people to come here and create businesses, jobs, and make money in Africa. In fact, we would love to see Africans returning to Africa by giving them a landing pad for building their own startups; they can also help boost the local startup talent pool,” says founder of 88mph Kresten Buch.

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