In the last decade, African entrepreneurs have developed solutions for the various unique challenges in the continent. As a result, these innovative solutions have contributed to the wave of startups and startup accelerators in Africa. However, not all startups get off the ground due to lack of funding, business plans, mentorship, poor management, etc. This explains why over 90% of startups fail.
Still, the few startups that show potential often rely on external support for them to thrive. Thanks to accelerator programs, startups are able to scale through series funding and the eventual launch of IPOs. Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is one of the instrumental accelerator programs for African startups.
What is Google for Startups Accelerator Africa?
Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is a three-month digital accelerator program for high potential Seed to Series A tech startups based in Africa. This online program aims to support African tech startups through their crucial growth phases. Additionally, there is also Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders. This program primarily supports black-led startups in the United States. Thus, the two programs have a lot in common.
Interested startups are required to submit applications to be considered for the program. This year, 15 startups that qualified commenced their digital Bootcamp on June 21. The selected startups enjoy benefits such as partnerships, early access to Google products, technical training, equity-free support, and a myriad of other resources. Onajite Emerhor from Nigeria heads the program.
Other Tech Startup Accelerators in Africa
There are several startup accelerators in Africa. However, unlike Google’s accelerator program, they offer similar services in return for equity. While equity share is good for business, it might cripple a budding startup. Furthermore, most of these accelerator programs aren’t localized. Nonetheless, several startups have benefited from the help of these accelerators. The accelerators include Akro Accelerate, FRAGG Impact Growth Accelerator, Flat6Labs Accelerator, and Orange Fab Tunisia. Here is a comprehensive list of startup accelerators in Africa
About the Selected Startups for 6th Google for Startups Accelerator Africa
#1 – Chekkit (Nigeria)
Chekkit has made a name for itself in consumer intelligence, customer loyalty, and SaaS fields. In the two years they have been in operations, they have developed an app, a USSD service, and other SaaS solutions for businesses. They are making it easy to identify the authenticity of consumer products. Also, Chekkit consumer intelligence helps manufacturers generate unique identifiers (UIDs) and engage with their customers directly. The company has offices in Lagos and Houston, Texas. Dare Odumade is the founder of Chekkit.
#2 – Emergency Response Africa (Nigeria)
HealthTech in Africa is picking up thanks to startups like Emergency Response Africa. ERA is a First Responder platform aiming to disrupt emergency response in Africa. They provide an array of services revolving around emergency incidents, occupational health, and more. What makes them unique is their mobile app that victims can use to submit requests. ERA was co-founded in 2018 by Folake Owodunni, who leads a team of other committed individuals in various capacities.
#3 – GeroCare (Nigeria)
WHO named GeroCare as one of the top African health innovations. It is a subscription-based home care platform for elderly parents in Nigeria. GeroCare helps the elderly who want to age in place by providing house calls and medical support to aging people in Nigeria. They have services such as doctor-on-demand, teleconsultation, and a home visit. GeroCare also has a mobile app that customers can use to manage their subscriptions. The founders, Dr. Obi Ofrey (CEO), Ajibola Meraiyebu (COO), and Bruce Lucas (CTO), officially launched GeroCare in May 2017.
#4 – Nguvu Health (Nigeria)
Mental health problems require fast and reliable responses, given their effect on the patient. Nguvu health is a teletherapy service that matches patients with therapists according to their needs. The company hosts a catalog of licensed, seasoned, and professional therapists in different specialties. Those in need of mental health services are required to complete a survey through the website or the mobile app. At a time when mental health cases are so high, Nguvu Health is a worthwhile service. Joshua Koya is the founder and CEO of Nguvu Health.
#5 – OneHealth (Nigeria)
OneHealth is a digital pharmacy that leverages the power of technology to provide pharmacy services online. They are primarily operating in Nigeria, and they offer subscription and non-subscription medicine to customers in the country. The company uses data to ensure they track patient’s health records to avoid prescribing and administrating drugs wrongly. OneHealth has made it possible for thousands of Nigerians to access medical supplies without having to go looking for them. Adeola Alli, a multi-licensed pharmacist, founded OneHealth.
#6 – Vittas International (Nigeria)
Vittas is the sixth and last Nigerian startup to have qualified for the 6th Google accelerator program. It’s a financial health provider that offers loans to Nigerian citizens. As a Fintech company, Vittas Int. is changing the loaning system to allow individuals and businesses to access loans without much hassle. Yes, they are rigorous in accessing credit risk, but they have cut most of the processes and stripped them down for fast solutions. Vittas uses trademarked technology to achieve this goal and focus its resources on ensuring customers have the best possible experience. Sulav Singh is the founder and CEO of this company.
#7 – Envisionit Deep AI (South Africa)
Artificial Intelligence is proving to be an indispensable resource in healthcare. Envisionit is one of the companies that use machine learning technologies in healthcare. They developed algorithms from the combined radiology knowledge and computer science to develop RADIFY. This technology learns from a series of images to improve a doctor’s capability to diagnose and identify patterns of diseases in the early stages. RADIFY is licensed as a medical image system application software. The startup is the brainchild of Dr. Jaishree Naidoo, a pediatric radiologist from South Africa.
#8 – Khula! (South Africa)
Khula is a Zulu word for ‘grow’. The startup is a value chain solutions provider based in South Africa. As an Agritech company, they provide tools and platforms to support and grow business in the agriculture supply chain for South African farmers. These include seed, fertilizer, agrochemicals, animal health products, and more from various suppliers. Additionally, buyers have access to over 2000 products to buy from, and the ability to compare prices. A user-friendly mobile app powers these innovative solutions. Matthew Piper and Karidas Tshintsholo founded Khula in 2016 while still at the university.
#9 – Whoosh (South Africa)
Whoosh is a source of delight owing to the fact that they are South Africa’s first black-owned and managed payment solutions company. The Fintech is offering payment gateway solutions to different types of merchants. This allows anyone in South Africa to receive or make payment easily and conveniently. Obviously, Whoosh will benefit a lot from the 3-month Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program. Lebeko Mphelo is the founder of Whoosh.
#10 – Angaza Elimu (Kenya)
EdTech startups are booming in the world, especially now with the wake of virtual learning. A good example is this Kenyan EdTech startup, Angaza Elimu. It was born out of inefficient classrooms and inadequate quality educational material. Angaza offers a personalized and mastery-based learning experience to learners through an interactive and adaptive eLearning platform. The platform curates learning for two levels: primary and secondary, designated Leonardo and Archimedes, respectively. Kiko Muuo is the CEO of this EdTech platform.
#11 – Ndovu (Kenya)
Micro investment is the best investing strategy for beginners and low-income earners. For this reason, Ndovu was created. Being a beginner-friendly investment service, it takes the liberty of simplifying the investment jargon. Also, Ndovu has a mobile app that lets investors see their portfolio at a glance. Essentially, Ndovu is a middle man between mutual fund companies and investors. Therefore, they invest your money with investment firms and charge you a commission on your earnings. Radhika Bhachu is the founder of Ndovu.
#12 – PayWay (Ethiopia)
This fintech startup based in Ethiopia takes a holistic approach to provide payment solutions in the country. Their main goal is to improve the capabilities of instant payment systems in Ethiopia. Similarly, the company develops native payment software for platforms, apps, and devices for the Ethiopian market. Therefore, PayWay makes it possible for the public to pay for public utilities and taxes, TV subscriptions, loan repayments, and more. Hilina Damte is the Managing Partner at PayWay Ethiopia.
#13 – Tabiri Analytics (Rwanda)
Mitigating cybersecurity threats is vital for ensuring data safety in an organization. Furthermore, the resources required to mitigate these risks are expensive. However, Tabiri, a Rwandan cybersecurity company, promises to offer affordable security monitoring services. They offset the IT team the burden of continuous monitoring. Tabiri was co-founded in 2018 by Edwin Kairu, a cybersecurity professional and entrepreneur.
#14 – Tendo (Ghana)
Tendo is revolutionizing the e-commerce industry by allowing people to retail a wide variety of products at their own rates. It is an advancement of the drop shipping business model. Tendo has an app in which they list products at wholesale prices. Then, resellers set profit margins on top of these prices and earn profits if they make sales. Felix Manford is Tendo’s CEO. This Ghanaian startup is a compelling social commerce platform.
#15 – Third.Design (Tunisia)
3D technology is the new standard for product design. With startups like Third.Design, creative Africans can create 3D models. The platform lets you create models using user-friendly features. Interestingly, the platform allows for collaboration among teams and publishing on the web. This 3D immersive experiences design platform lets you exercise your creative muscle without breaking a sweat. The company began in 2018 as a side project among three individuals Safwen Bouali (CEO), Cherif Redissi, and Amine Troudi.
What stands out about all these companies is the passion they have in their respective fields. This passion can be seen in how they pursue their plans. Moreover, having passed what we believe is a rigorous selection criterion for Google for Startups Accelerator Africa shows a level of excellence. The brilliant innovations are solutions to unique challenges that are facing Africans. Therefore, we are confident that the startup accelerator program by Google will strengthen them even more.