AFRICAFifteen startups have been selected for the sixth class of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa, which aims to support African tech startups through their crucial growth phases.

The Google for Startups Accelerator is a three-month online programme that includes three intensive virtual training bootcamps, mentorship, and Google product support.

For the second year in a row, the programme is virtual, and it kicks off in June with 15 startups from across the continent participating.

Six of the selected companies are from Nigeria, namely consumer intelligence, engagement and loyalty software-as-a-service for authentication Chekkit, first responder platform Emergency Response Africa, home care platform GeroCare, mental health service Nguvu Health, digital-first pharmacy OneHealth, and health financing platform Vittas International.

Three are from South Africa, AI startup Envisionit Deep AI, agriculture value chain solutions provider Khula!, and digital payments solution Whoosh, and two from Kenya, ed-tech startup Angaza Elimu and micro-investment platform Ndovu.

“We want to continue to play our part by supporting developers and startups within the Africa tech ecosystem.”

Onajite Emerhor – Head, Google for Startups Accelerator Africa

The cohort is completed by Ethiopian payments startup PayWay, Rwandan cybersecurity platform Tabiri Analytics, e-commerce platform Tendo, and 3D immersive experiences design platform Third.Design.

“Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first virtual class of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa was launched. It was the first all-online iteration of Google’s accelerator program for Africa and saw 20 startups from seven countries undergo a 12-week virtual journey to redefine their offering while receiving mentoring and attending workshops,” said Onajite Emerhor, head of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa.

“This year, with the sixth cohort, we want to continue to play our part by supporting developers and startups within the Africa tech ecosystem, ensuring they get all the access and support necessary to see them continue to grow.”

Meanwhile, another US$3 million has been earmarked as SME grants. This fulfils the company’s promise to open funding initiatives to small businesses that are not online.

The US$3 million funds will be used to provide mentorship, coaching, and access to key markets for 5,000 female entrepreneurs with low digital skills come from rural areas and currently operate in an informal sector.

This will also include seed capital in the form of cash grants and Google product support for 500 aspiring female entrepreneurs. Beneficiaries will be chosen from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and select Francophone countries.

For two of the programmes, Google will be working with two African partners, with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, to disburse the funds — Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) for BFF, while Tony Elumelu Foundation will be in charge of grants for female entrepreneurs.