Google has unveiled its latest initiative, the “Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First,” designed to provide crucial support to African start-ups seeking to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in tackling local challenges.
The programme marks a significant step in recognising the pivotal role it plays in global innovation, reshaping industries, and expanding the boundaries of what is possible. Moreover, it underscores the remarkable contributions of African start-ups in addressing some of the most pressing issues in the region through AI-driven solutions.
No ad to show here.
The “AI First” programme aims to provide robust support for start-ups eager to explore the vast potential of AI. Drawing inspiration from previous successful ventures like the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, and the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders, the overarching objective remains steadfast: to uplift and spotlight solutions rooted in Africa.
Applications for the equity-free, 10-week accelerator programme are now open. The call extends to start-ups up to the series A stage that are either based in Africa or are crafting solutions specifically tailored to the continent using AI and machine learning technologies.
Entrepreneurs chosen for the programme will gain access to Google’s unparalleled AI expertise, technical resources including up to $350 000 in Google Cloud Credits, guidance from seasoned AI professionals, and invaluable networking avenues.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, the head of Startup Ecosystem in Africa, expressed his thoughts on this ground-breaking initiative, stating, “Africa’s technology landscape is dynamic and continually evolving. Witnessing African start-ups not only embrace AI to tackle our distinct challenges but also establish global benchmarks is truly inspiring. ‘AI First’ transcends being a mere programme; it stands as a testament to our unwavering belief in the visions of these start-ups, ensuring they receive the support and guidance essential for realising their full potential.”
Having launched in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa programme has already provided assistance to 106 start-ups hailing from 17 different African countries.
Collectively, these start-ups have managed to secure over $263 million in funding and generate more than 2 800 direct job opportunities within the region.
The remarkable impact of this initiative underscores the transformative potential that Google’s “AI First” programme could have on African start-ups and, in turn, the wider continent.
As the global tech giant continues to foster innovation, this latest accelerator initiative vows to affirm Google’s commitment to empowering start-ups to leverage AI as a means of addressing localised challenges and making their mark on the world stage.
Start-ups are invited to apply by 6 September 2023. For more details and to submit applications, please visit g.co/acceleratorafrica.