Two startups from Kenya and one from Nigeria have been selected for the first Google for Startups Accelerator focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As reported in November on the launch of the new programme, which will provide social impact startups with access to training, mentorship and technical support from over 20 teams at Google, as well as outside experts and local mentors.
Almost 1,200 applications were received from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the programme, with 11 startups selected to participate in the inaugural accelerator. These startups address a wide range of social and environmental challenges, and are working toward at least one of the 17 SDGs outlined by the United Nations (UN).
They include two from Kenya, namely emergency response startup Flare and cold storage solution Solar Freeze, as well as Nigeria’s mDoc, which uses a digital platform and in-person hubs to support people living with chronic diseases.
The eight other startups hail from France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), and Pakistan.
Each startup founder will work closely with engineers from Google and other subject matter experts to address product, engineering, business development, and funding challenges. Founders will learn all these skills through the lens of the SDGs and relevant partners.
In order to keep the program safe and accessible in light of COVID-19, the first two on-site events will now be digital. Virtual training will cover topics such as creating Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), UX Research & Behavioral Economics, ML Data Pipelines and Data Visualisation, SDG innovation for sustainable impact, and Strategies for Social Impact Fundraising. The five-month program kicks off on April 21, and a second cohort will be selected later in the year.