Google has announced a Ksh465 million commitment for the Google for Startup Black Founders Fund for Africa, which targets at least 60 startups across the continent founded by black natives.
The initiative, which comes in form of a 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 Ksh5.8 million and Ksh11.6 million non-dilutive cash awards and up to Ksh23.3 million per startup in Google Cloud credits, support in the form of training, and access to a network of mentors.
“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 initiative will primarily focus on 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.