Google launches AI accelerator for startups

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 03:40 | By
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A view of a sign above the entrance of the Google office, ahead of presentation of the detailed investment plan for Germany, in Berlin, Germany, August 31, 2021. PHOTO/Annegret Hilse

Google has launched an initiative aimed at supporting African startups looking to use artificial intelligence to solve local challenges.

In a statement, Google said the initiative dubbed “Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First” is aimed at supporting startups keen on delving into AI’s possibilities.

It draws learnings from past initiatives such as the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa, Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, and Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders
“Africa’s tech landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving.

It’s inspiring to see African startups not only harnessing AI to address our unique challenges but also setting benchmarks for the world. ‘AI First’ is more than a program; it’s a testament to our belief in the vision of these startups, ensuring they have the support and guidance they need to realize their full potential,” said Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa.

Equity free

Applications for the 10-week equity-free accelerator are now open, inviting startups up to series A stage based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions with AI and machine learning.

Participants will benefit from access to Google’s AI expertise, technical resources including up to Sh50.6 million ($350,000) Google Cloud Credits, mentorship from seasoned AI professionals, and invaluable networking opportunities.

Startups are invited to apply by September 6, 2023. Since inception in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa program has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries. Collectively, these startups have raised over Sh38 million ($263 million) in funding and created over 2,800 direct job opportunities in the region.

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