Google has announced the 11 startups selected to join the second Launchpad Accelerator Africa class, with applications to the programme spiking following the success of the first round.
Disrupt Africa reported in February of last year Google was bringing the Launchpad Accelerator to Africa, aimed at assisting startups in leveraging Google’s latest technologies to scale their businesses through mentoring.
In March, 12 startups were chosen to form the inaugural cohort of the three month programme, which operates out of Lagos.
For the second edition of the accelerator, Google said competition for places increased, with over 250 applications received.
The 11 successful startups have now been announced, representing six African countries.
Nigeria leads the second cohort with four startups making the cut: software-as-a-service fintech company AppZone; data collection solutions provider Formplus; medication marketplace Medsaf; and online rewards platform Thank U Cash.
Two South African companies were also selected: machine learning-powered insurance solution Pineapple and tutoring marketplace Preeva; as were two Kenyan ventures: experience marketplace and booking platform Cloud9xp and smart meter and connected software service PayGo Energy.
Ghana, Uganda, and Egypt each saw one startup selected – Ghana’s m-learning provider Chalkboard Education; Uganda’s EzyAgric, which improves access to finance, production and marketing services for farmers; and Egypt’s social video intelligence platform Mintrics.
The startups will participate in three months’ intense mentorship and support from Google, including three weeks all-expenses-paid training at Launchpad Accelerator Africa; as well as access to Google engineers, resources, and mentors; inclusion in the Launchpad Accelerator Global Community; and Cloud and Firebase Credits.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of our continent,” says Fola Olatunji-David, head of startup success and services at Launchpad Accelerator Africa.
“We’re currently as a region creating about three 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.”