Google launches AI First accelerator for African startups
Google today announced the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First, a programme designed to help African businesses apply artificial intelligence to solve local problems.
The AI First programme is designed to assist entrepreneurs interested in exploring the possibilities of AI.
The company says it draws learnings from past initiatives such as the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa, The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, and The Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders.
The primary aspiration remains consistent, to support and highlight African-driven solutions, says Google.
Applications for the 10-week equity-free accelerator are now open, inviting startups up to series A stage based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions with AI and machine learning.
Participants will have access to Google's AI knowledge, technical resources such as up to $350,000 in Google Cloud Credits, mentorship from experienced AI specialists, and vital networking opportunities.
"Africa's tech landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving," said Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, of the programme.
“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 realise their full potential.”
Since inception in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa program has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries. Collectively, these startups have raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 direct job opportunities in the region.
Startups must apply by September 6, 2023. For additional information and to apply, please visit g.co/acceleratorafrica.