Building on the success of Google’s global Launchpad Accelerator programme, this initiative will operate from a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos – the first onsite location for the programme outside the United States.

It will provide African startups with over $3-million (R43 million) in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa over the next three years.

Participants will also receive travel and PR support during the three-month programme.

The first class is set to kick off in early 2018 and the application process for the first intake of participants is currently open and closes on 11 December.

To qualify, all start ups must:

  • Be a technology startup.
  • Be based in Sub-Saharan Africa and target the African market.
  • Have already raised seed funding

In addition, Google says it will consider:

  • The problem you are trying to solve. How does it create value for users? How are you addressing a real challenge for your home city, country or Africa broadly?
  • Will you share what you learn in Silicon Valley for the benefit of other startups in your local ecosystem?

“Anyone who spends time in the African technology space knows that the continent is home to some exciting innovations,” says Andy Volk, Sub-Saharan Africa Ecosystem Regional Manager.

“Over the years, Google has worked with some incredible startups across Africa, tackling everything from healthcare, education, streamlining e-commerce to improving the food supply chain. We very much look forward to welcoming the first cohort of innovators for Launchpad Africa and continue to work together to drive innovation in the African market.”

Google is also enabling local developers to monetise their products by facilitating the sale of paid applications, in-app products and subscriptions via Google Play, with monthly payouts made to their bank accounts.

“While there have been plenty of amazing apps built in South Africa, the process of monetising them was never as smooth as we knew it could be,” says Luke McKend, Google South Africa’s Country Director.

“By allowing local developers to monetise their products on the Play Store, we’re underscoring how serious we are about digitally empowering South Africans.

Once a developer has prepared their apps and in-app products, they can price them in any available currencies, publish, and then receive payouts and financial data in rand.

Visit the developer help centre for more details.