When it is not in the ad business, Google likes to diversify its trade by supporting entrepreneurship across different parts of the world. This development has gone on for some time, and one of the search giant’s projects is the Launchpad Accelerator that is staged across different regions. The African version of the accelerator saw its second installment go live yesterday in three African cities: Nairobi, Johannesburg and Lagos.
Google argues that the accelerator, which is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria has proved impactful based on what the project has achieved so far. The first Launchpad Accelerator Africa saw the graduation of 12 startups and managed to gain the support of 20 teams from Google and 40 mentors from nine countries.
The startups have also employed about 132 people and have collectively raised more than KES 700 million in funding. According to Google, the products and services rendered by startups that have passed through the accelerator have benefited more than 4.5 million people.
The 2018 installment received more than 300 startups, including groups that had taken part in the first round. The applications were also sourced from an additional 11 countries. Out of the 11 finalists that managed to secure a spot for the grand competition, only two were from Kenya: Cloud9xp, an online marketplace and booking service that allows people to buy and sell experiences in various locations across Africa; and PayGo, a smart meter and connected software service allows players in the LP gas (LPG) value chain to better serve their customers, driving the adoption of clean cooking fuels.
It is also worth noting that Cloud9xp will be representing Kenya in DEMO Africa’s fair in Casablanca, Morocco.
The finalists will receive 3 months of intense mentorship and support from the search giant, Cloud and Firebase credits and a three-week all-expense paid training at Launchpad Accelerator in Lagos and Joburg.
Picture: Cloud9xp founders Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti, with their Head of Marketing Kimore Martha during the first day of the program.