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First Google Developers Space opens in Lagos

By , ITWeb
Nigeria , 28 Jan 2020

First Google Developers Space opens in Lagos

Google has launched its first Google Developers Space in Lagos, Nigeria. Previously referred to as the Google Launchpad Space, the Google Developers Space is a hub for African developers, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The hub stems from a commitment made by Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai in July 2017 to African entrepreneurs to begin the Launchpad Accelerator Africa program and launch a space to house these efforts in Nigeria.

Launchpad Accelerator Africa head of Operations, Onajite Emerhor said: "We have partnered with Impact Hub to bring the Space to life and worked with a local company called Spacefinish, which designed it specifically to create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. We're looking forward to working with start-ups and other players in the ecosystem from across the continent at the Space."

According to a statement released by Google, the company does not charge for use of the space.

".... in addition to housing Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa will support developer meetups, training, experts office hours, Women in tech events, start-up programs (outside of Launchpad), partner events that support the wider entrepreneur and developer ecosystem, as well as Google initiatives for empowering people through digital skills training," the statement continues.

Google adds that Launchpad Accelerator Africa has worked with 47 start-ups since the first class kicked off in early 2018. It has accelerated start-ups from 17 African countries including: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

These companies have raised millions of dollars in investments, and created over nine hundred jobs across the continent, the company states.

The next class will kick off at the Google Developers Space in May 2020.

"This space is the next step to our support for developers across the continent. From our commitment to train 100 000 developers across Africa and the launch of developer merchant support in the Google Play store, making it possible for developers to earn money through apps they build. We are excited to continue our journey with the African startup and developer communities," says Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director, Google Nigeria.

Emerhor adds, "Africa's startup ecosystem is growing and this space is our way of supporting and being a part of that growth. We're looking forward to working with startups and other players in the ecosystem from across the continent at the Space."

By November 2019 African start-ups had raised over US$1-billiion with 83 deals alone exceeding US$1-million, according to Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A).

Moreover the number of women (co-) founders are on the rise at 18% in 2019 and as of 2018, the continent's start-up ecosystem is on par with Southeast Asia's of 2014, with major increase in early-stage investing expected.

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