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Google set to announce the names today of the startups that will take part in the second cohort of its Launchpad Africa Accelerator.
A PR representative for Google South Africa told Ventureburn last Monday (20 August) that the ceremony would be held at 11am SA time (10am Nigerian time) today in Lagos.
Google opened applications for the second class of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme in June, adding 12 more African countries from which it would accept application from — to the six that it took applications from in the first class. Applications for closed on 8 July (see this story).
Google set to announce the names today of those startups that will take part in the second cohort of its Launchpad Africa Accelerator
Folagbade Olatunji-david, head of startup success and services at Launchpad Accelerator Africa, revealed in June that the first cohort together raised $7-million in funding and created 132 jobs. Google did not reveal which of the 12 startups were able to raise a slice of the $7-million.
Ventureburn caught up last week with Cape Town based Russel Luck, whose startup swiftVEE took part in the first cohort. The startup has developed an online platform that connects livestock agencies to a network of buyers and sellers.
What key lessons did he and his co-founder Andrew Meyer take away with from the programme?
“Launchpad has taught us that increasing revenue isn’t always a linear process. There is no magical formula that translates into consistently foreseeable net-benefits,” commented Luck in an email to Ventureburn last week.
“However, Launchpad was a golden opportunity to assess product-market fit and refine our value proposition. It has also opened up deeper business networks which would never have been accessible without the programme,” he said.
While in Nigeria, Luck was able to sign two joint venture agreements with local partners there. The startup is seeking to enter more African markets over the next five years.
“Our time in Launchpad has also deepened our understanding of business environments in other parts of Africa such as Kenya and Uganda,” he added.
Over five months ago when his startup was selected for the programme Luck declined to detail exactly how his online platform works, saying he couldn’t give away too many things, before the startup “got all its ducks in a row”.
Last week, he again pointed out he wanted to wait a bit longer before “having a detailed discussion on this” with Ventureburn.
Luck advises those startups that are selected for the programme to look at solving a fundamental problem that is globally scalable.
Said Luck:”I’ve always believed before starting any business, don’t ask where do I make the most money? Ask yourself where is the biggest problem that can be remediated.”
Read more: Google opens applications for its second class of Launchpad Africa accelerator
Read more: Google is backing it, but how does SA startup swiftVEE’s platform really work?
Read more: Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa announces first cohort of 12 startups
Read more: Lagos is perfect backdrop for startups says Google Launchpad Accelerator man
Featured image: SwiftVEE founders Andrew Meyer (left) and Russel Luck (right), with Google’s Tonia Osadebe (Supplied)