Google targets big tech companies’ emergence from Nigeria

Search giant, Google is working to ensure that big technology companies emerge from Nigeria, cum emerging markets. 
AFP Photo / Georges Gobet
AFP Photo / Georges Gobet

Search giant, Google is working to ensure that big technology companies emerge from Nigeria, cum emerging markets.

This drive, formed the basis of its yearly Global Accelerator and Launchpad Programme, held in San Francisco, USA.

In its fifth year, Google Launchpad Accelerator Programme focused on start-ups that already have a product, with a good market fit, and are ready to scale.

About 116 accelerators and over 24 start-ups from developing markets, including Nigeria, were selected out of thousands of applications and participated in the two-week boot camp to take their businesses to the global stage.
During the intensive two weeks at Google’s offices, start-ups are exposed to expert professionals and mentors in the technology and business space, as well as take part in workshops on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Google believed strongly that emerging markets, which house countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, India, Brazil, among others have the capability of producing the next big technology companies that would assist it in connecting the next billion users of technology products and services.

To enable startups from the region, Google has set up an accelerator launchpad space in Nigeria, which would start training classes in March.

Meanwhile, at the San Francisco’s event, two Nigerian startups, OneFi, a Fintech with Paylater as its signature products and Helium Health, an healthcare data gathering platform, which provides smart, rugged, all-in-one electronic medical records for Africa, were among the several players at the bootcamp.

Apart from showcasing it’s startups, Nigerians were also among the mentors, which assessed and provided professional advice to the startups.

Speaking at the opening session, Google Launchpad Lead, Roy Glasberg, said the programme was tailored to each start-up specifically.

Glasberg said when the startups are accepted into the initiative, their problems are assessed and they are paired with the mentor who has the best skill set to help.

The Google Launchpad Lead, who revealed that over 12,000 startups across the world have been admitted into the programme in the last five years, disclosed that after the initial two-weeks boot camp, the start-ups will take part remotely in a six-month mentorship programme immediately, where other supports, including further funding would be made available.

Providing more insight into the programme, a Mentor and The Guardian Contributor, Victor Asemota, noted that the motive behind this Google initiative was that the search giant believed strongly that the next growth in technology will come from emerging markets such as Nigeria, “reason it became reasonable to get the region prepared.

“Google is looking for the next billion users. So, if you look at India for instance, the country churned in about 100 million users come online yearly. The trend has also come to Africa. It’s now churning in almost 100 million new users too, that formed the basis for focus on emerging markets.”

According to him, the Launchpad Accelerator Programme is one of the best initiatives from Google, stressing that apart from the global, there are also regional and local programmes.

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