Some beneficiaries of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund

The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is the second cohort of the tech giant’s program.

Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa Folarin Aiyegbusi announced this in Abuja on Tuesday.

Aiyegbusi also explained the criteria for selection.

“We looked at three key factors when selecting startups: Product-market fit, startup-programme fit and founder potential.

“The companies we’ve selected are those that have found product-market fit, the programme must be beneficial to them beyond just the money and the founders must be people that have the potential to create enormous value”, he said.

Fifty per cent of the beneficiaries are women-led businesses.

“We’re proud that we were able to reach gender parity in this cohort,” she said.

The grantees will receive a six-month training programme consisting of workshops, community-building sessions and access to a network of mentors to provide guidance.

The 60 startups will receive equity-free funds Google Cloud credit ranging from $50,000 and $100,000, and up to $200,000.

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The Google for Startups programme established in April 2012 has generated about 4,600 jobs and raised over $290 million in funding.

Nigerian recipient of Black Founders Fund, the CEO of Norebase, Tola Onayemi, says he’s happy about having access to a network of founders and resource persons.

Meanwhile, CEO Babymigo Kemi Olawoye, a participant in the first cohort, said the programme offers valuable resources.

“We got exposed to a wider range of Google tools and were given Google advert credit; these resources helped us scale our business,” Olawoye said.

The initiative selects startups from diverse fields comprising of fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agritech, education, hospitality and smart cities among others.

Most of the grantees were from five countries – Nigeria 23, Kenya 12, Rwanda 6, South Africa 5, and Uganda 4.

Both Cameroon and Ghana had 3 grantees each, while Ethiopia had 2.

Botswana and Senegal each have one recipient.

The program exposes grantees to Google’s products, networks and best practices to boost scalability and improve products and services while adding value to Africa’s economy.

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