Applications open for Google startups funding

Android Marshmallow replica in front of Google office on August 19, 2015. [Courtesy]

Google has opened applications for the second cohort of the Google for Startup Black Founders Fund for Africa.

This follows the success of the first cohort last year. Google will increase its commitment with an additional Sh116.3 million in funding, and support for 10 more founders this year.

This will result in a commitment of Sh465 million to 60 eligible black-founded startups across Africa. The competition is open to startups that meet the eligibility criteria in Kenya, Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d‘Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

While these 13 countries are the prime focus due to their active tech and startup ecosystems, strong applications from other African countries will also be considered.

Selected startups will receive between Sh5.8 million and Sh11.6 million non-dilutive cash awards and up to Sh23.3 million per startup in Google Cloud credits, support in the form of training, and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling the challenges unique to each startup.

Applications will close on May 31, 2022. The winners will be announced on July 29, 2022.

The following African businesses are eligible for selection for the competition; early-stage startups with black founders or diverse founding teams, which are benefiting the black community, operating and headquartered in Africa.

Others are startups with a diverse founding team with at least one black founding member, those having a legal presence on the continent and building technology solutions for Africa and the global market as well as those who have the growth potential to raise more funding and create jobs.

 “The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation in underserved areas. Black-led tech startups face an unfair venture capital funding environment and that is why we are committed to helping them thrive, grow to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region,‘‘ said Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Google for Startups Black Founders fund was launched in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement.

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