Google for Startups UK has launched its first-ever Africa immersion cohort, a 12-week programme designed to bring the best of Google expertise and the London startup ecosystem to technology companies from Africa and help drive socio-economic impact in their operating countries.
With the population of Africa set to double from 1.2 billion to 2.5 billion by 2050, there has never been a more important time to support untapped markets to find solutions to issues faced.
In 2018, African tech startups raised approximately $725.6 million in funding. This represented an astonishing 127 per cent year-on-year growth in funding raised by tech startups on the continent.
Started on September 3, the Africa Immersion programme aims to connect high potential early-stage startups from Africa to the London venture capital ecosystem, with the dedicated support of the Google for Startups team. Throughout the 12 weeks, founders will be given access to Google tools, expertise and mentoring to provide support where it is most needed. This includes help to boost sales, advising on marketing strategies, troubleshooting a product issue and even support with fundraising. After one week of full-time support in London, the founders will return to their home countries and continue the programme in tandem with growing their businesses and creating local success stories and employment.
The 12-week programme will conclude with a founder graduation event in November in Lagos, Nigeria.
The programme will be led by the head of Google for Startups UK and serial entrepreneur Marta Krupinska, together with programme lead – Mariama Boumanjal and her team.
Marta Krupinska said, “We created this programme because we believe that London became the Silicon Valley of Europe because of its access to funding, talent and startup experience. At the same time, we recognise that there is an incredible wealth of passion, talent and opportunity in less developed startup ecosystems. We want to help exceptional African founders and their teams connect to the ecosystem in London and tap into the opportunities here while they continue growing their businesses in their home countries and create local success stories and employment.”