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Apply Now: Google AI Accelerator Program Empowers African Startups for Innovation

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Google AI Accelerator Program Empowers African Startups for Innovation

Google has introduced the “Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First” initiative, focusing on aiding African startups that are leveraging artificial intelligence to tackle local challenges. This program recognizes AI’s transformative role globally and its potential to reshape industries and possibilities. It emphasizes the vital contributions of African startups in addressing pressing regional issues through AI solutions.

The ‘AI First’ program aims to support startups eager to explore AI’s potential. Drawing insights from past initiatives like Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, and the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders, the core objective remains consistent: supporting and showcasing African-driven solutions.

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Applications are open for this 10-week equity-free accelerator, welcoming startups up to series A stage based in Africa or developing AI-focused solutions for the continent. Participants gain access to Google’s AI expertise, technical resources (up to $350,000 in Google Cloud Credits), mentorship from seasoned AI professionals, and valuable networking prospects.

Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, stated, “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.”

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Since its inception in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa program has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries, raising over $263 million in funding and creating more than 2,800 direct job opportunities in the region.

Key Program Benefits:

  • Equity-free: 10 weeks of support without equity commitments.
  • Google Product Credits: Eligible startups receive valuable product credits.
  • Founder Network: Connect and receive support from fellow founders in the Google for Startups alumni network.
  • Tailored Mentorship: Personalized product and leadership guidance from Google mentors and industry experts.
  • Product Support: Learn directly from Google experts about their products.
  • Exposure: Gain exposure to potential partners, VCs, and investors interested in AI-focused startups.

Entry Criteria:

  • Demonstrated traction, preferably between Seed and Series A stage.
  • Building a scalable product or service with a significant addressable market and defensible growth model.
  • Strong technical foundation, preferably utilizing technologies like Machine Learning and AI.
  • Commitment from CTO and/or technical roles to participate in program sessions.

Program Timeline:

  • Applications Open: August 22, 2023
  • Application Deadline: September 6, 2023
  • Program Kickoff: September 2023
  • Graduation: November 2023

African startups can apply by September 6, 2023. For detailed information and applications, visit the official application link at g.co/acceleratorafrica.

Source: The Nation Online NG

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