The Star Late Edition

Accessing the best of Google for start-ups

- MPILETSO MOTUMI mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za

TODAY marks the last day for applicatio­ns for the Google for Start-ups Accelerato­r Programme.

The three-month programme will start later next month and will include three intensive virtual-training bootcamps, mentorship and Google product support.

The programme is open to applicants from 17 countries across Africa, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal. South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The aim is to support the growth of start-ups through their crucial growth phases.

For Google’s new developer scholarshi­ps, Android, Web and Google Cloud scholarshi­ps are being offered to beginner and intermedia­te developers resident in Africa. A total of 40 000 scholarshi­ps will be offered to developers, spread across Mobile and Cloud developmen­t tracks. The top 1 000 students at the end of the training will earn a full scholarshi­p to certify on Android or Cloud developmen­t.

“Last year, due to the Covid-19

pandemic, the first virtual class of the programme was launched,” said Onajite Emerhor, head of Google for Startups Accelerato­r Africa.

“It was the first all-online iteration of Google’s accelerato­r programme 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. This year, with the sixth cohort, we want to continue to play our part by supporting developers and start-ups within the Africa tech ecosystem, ensuring they get all the access and support necessary to see them continue to grow.”

The programme gives early-growth stage start-ups access to the best of Google – its people, networks, and advanced technologi­es. The accelerato­r trains participat­ing start-ups on technology (AI/ML, Cloud, Android, Firebase), product, data, business, design, people, growth and fund-raising, through interactiv­e workshops and labs facilitate­d by Google experts and mentors.

The African start-up ecosystem is a key driver of economic growth on the continent, with Africa's tech space experienci­ng a significan­t upswing in start-up success stories.

According to the Africa Internet Economy 2020 report, Africa’s Internet economy is poised to boost the continent’s economy by 5.25% in the next five years.

The report states that the headwinds caused by Covid-19 will not deter the growth of Africa’s internet economy, which is projected to contribute nearly $189 billion (R2.6 trillion) to Africa’s GDP by 2025, increasing to $712bn by 2050.

 ??  ?? TODAY is the last day to apply for the Google Startups Accelerato­r Programme.
TODAY is the last day to apply for the Google Startups Accelerato­r Programme.

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