Google-backed Launchpad Accelerator has been offering a platform for startups in the past six years. This year’s installment of the program is already underway, having introduced a new program in Mexico alongside 6 regional programs for Africa, Israel, India, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Brazil.
The selection of the next cohort of startups has already been concluded for upcoming competitions for Africa, Brazil, and India. According to Google’s developer blog post, the platform reviewed more than 1000 applications for the programs. In principle, the solutions offered by these upcoming firms entail using technology to create a positive impact in the society and key industries as the Accelerator looks forward to connecting them with other startup ecosystems.
In Africa, Launchpad selected 12 startups, a third of which are Kenyan:
- Data Integrated Limited(Kenya) – Automating and digitizing SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
- Kwara(Kenya) – Providing a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
- OkHi (Kenya) – A physical addressing platform for emerging markets – on a mission to enable the billions without a physical address to “be included.”
- Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya) – Turning a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors, and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report.
Nigeria comes in second with three startups (pharm/health firms 54Gene and WellaHealth, and education-based startup ScholarX). Others include Egypt’s Insadiet.me, Senegal’s PAPS, payments app Swipe2pay from Uganda and South Africa’s Voyc.ai and Zelda Learning.
A similar selection was done for India and Brazil. Successful groups will benefit from customized programs and access to partners and mentors, as well as the platform’s support on the ground.