Google for Startups has announced a new accelerator program focused on artificial intelligence (AI) startups in Africa.
The startup program, “Google for Startups: AI First” seeks to recognize startups with determination to solve problems using AI across the continent.
Applications for an opportunity to take part in the initiative are open with the window set to run until September 6.
According to Folarin Aiyegbusi, the head of Startup Ecosystem for Africa which runs the Google for Startup program, the AI-focused edition is a testament to the commitment to ensuring that startups across the continent access the support necessary to help them realize their full potential.
In his statement, Aiyegbusi lauded efforts taken by the startups to solve various challenges as well as put the continent on the global map.
“Africa’s tech landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving. It’s inspiring to see African startups not only harnessing AI to address our unique challenges but also setting benchmarks for the world,” said Aiyegbusi.
Google for Startups Selection Criteria
The program is open to startups in the stage between Series A and Seed level that are either based in Africa or building Afro-centric solutions through AI.
In addition to AI solutions, the accelerator program will accept applications from deeply technical startups, preferably those leveraging technologies like Machine Learning.
The AI First initiative will run for 10 weeks and will feature the who’s who in the AI field and a raft of activities and opportunities for the participants.
17 countries are eligible for selection namely; Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon
Côte D’ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Participants stand a chance to engage with Google’s AI expertise and benefit from technical resources including up to $350,000 in funding.
In addition, the participants will attend mentorship programs featuring seasoned figures in the AI sphere thus presenting networking opportunities.
This will add to the previous Africa-focused programs rolled out by Google including the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa, The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, and The Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders.