South Africa’s very own startups Voyc.ai and Zomila are part of the third Launchpad Accelerator Africa class which graduated this past week in Lagos, Nigeria.
This is part of a programme run by Google as part of its ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship on the continent, Launchpad Accelerator Africa Class 3 comprised 12 startups from six African countries – Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda – 58% of which have female co-founders.
According to a release issued by Google, all of the teams participating in Class 3 have been trained in machine learning technologies and are implementing AI in their offerings as a result. “This,” says Launchpad Accelerator Africa, head of startup success and services, Fola Olatunji-David, ”represents an alignment towards building AI-first startups powered by Google technology. The startups in this class have raised close to R128m in funding, created more than 120 jobs and their products and services have over 270 000 users.”
The graduating startups now form part of Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa’s alumni along with the 23 startups from Classes 1 and 2 who between them have created 385 direct jobs and raised over R27 billion before, during and after they participated in the programme.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” comments Olatunji-David. “We’re currently as a region creating about 3 million jobs per year while more than 11 million job seekers are entering the market. Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent. Google thrives when other business thrives,” he adds.
Class 4 will kick off later this year, and see another 10-12 African startup complete the three-month acceleration programme. Applications for Class 4 open today – 21 June – and will be open until 26 July.
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