Tech giant Google is reaching out to Tanzania and 16 other African countries for participation in its ‘Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First’ initiative. This groundbreaking program aims to assist African startups in leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tackle local challenges.
Among the 17 nations invited are Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
The 10-week accelerator offers startups an exclusive opportunity to tap into Google’s AI expertise and gain access to crucial technical resources, including up to $350,000 in Google Cloud Credits.
The program also boasts mentorship from seasoned AI professionals and invaluable networking connections, setting the stage for startup success.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, emphasized that the program recognizes AI’s transformative global role. He underlined the remarkable innovation by African startups in harnessing AI to address unique challenges and set benchmarks for the world. “AI First” represents Google’s belief in these startups’ visions and aims to provide the necessary support for their full potential.
The impact of the accelerator program is evident through the Google for Startups Accelerator – Africa launched in 2018. This initiative has nurtured 106 startups from 17 African countries, securing over $263 million in funding and generating more than 2,800 direct job opportunities.
However, the entry criteria are specific and compelling, targeting startups with traction between the Seed and Series A stages. Scalable products or services with a significant addressable market and a defensible growth model are sought.
A strong technical foundation, particularly in AI and Machine Learning, is crucial, with active participation commitment from CTOs and technical roles.
The AI First Cohort seeks startups that harness AI’s transformative capabilities. Applications for this cycle close on September 6th and the program is slated to run from September 2023 to November 2023.
Selected startups will benefit from Google’s technical expertise, product support, mentorship, inclusion in the Google for Startups Accelerator Global Community and alumni network, Google Cloud Credits, and marketing spotlight opportunities.