TECH TALK

Google's scholarship for startups

Africa’s internet economy is poised to boost the continent’s economy by 5.25 per cent in the next five years.

In Summary
  • Successful applicants to undertake three months training to start on June 21
  • The  includes deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development
The Google app logo.
The Google app logo.
Image: FILE

Google is offering an accelerator programme that will give startups access to its facilities as part of its effort to aid businesses out of the Covid-19 economic downturn.

The tech firm is strengthening the development of mobile and cloud software products in Kenya and 16 African countries by disbursing 40, 000 scholarships.

The new developer scholarships will offer Android, web and Google cloud skills development at beginner and intermediate level where the top 1,000 students at the end of the training will earn a full scholarship to certify on Android or Cloud development.

The announcement of the scholarships also ushered in the three-week application window for the sixth cohort of the Google for Startups Accelerator Program that runs until May 14.

Successful applicants will undertake three months of Google for Startups Accelerator Program, which will start on June 21 this year, and it will include three intensive virtual training boot camps, mentorship and Google product support.

The Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is a three months program for seed to Series A technology startups across the African continent.

It is designed to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to startups that leverage machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in their company today or plan to in the future.

Using the knowledge gained from running startup accelerators, this model has been used to reach other audiences such as game developers and non-profits.

In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the Accelerator also includes deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders, specialized training, media opportunities and access to Google’s network of engineers and experts.

Beneficiaries drawn from Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe will receive support enabling them to scale through the initial infancy stages from product development to commercialization.

Africa’s startup ecosystem has proven resilient, churning out new businesses, jobs and enhancing efficiency in business processes while helping companies to reduce operational costs and opening up new opportunities.

According to the Africa Internet Economy 2020 report, sponsored by Google and IFC, Africa’s internet economy is poised to boost the continent’s economy by 5.25 per cent in the next five years.

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

Google continues to support developer communities across Sub-Saharan Africa through Google Developer Groups, Developer Student Clubs and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers that is aligned with real-life job competency requirements.