Google has announced the opening of applications for the 8th cohort of its Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program. This year’s edition will focus on startups leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to address critical challenges and unlock new opportunities across the continent.

Applications are currently open on the Google Startups AI Africa website, and will close on May 20, 2024. Eligible startups must be based in Africa or building Africa-centric solutions and should be utilizing AI/ML in a transformative way.

The Accelerator program is a three-month, equity-free virtual program that provides African startups with mentorship, technical resources, and access to a global network of experts and investors. Since its inception in 2018, the program has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries, and have collectively raised over USD 263 million and created more than 2,800 direct jobs.

Speaking at the announcement media briefing, Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startups Ecosystem, Africa at Google said, “We’re excited to support the next generation of African AI pioneers through the Google for Startups Accelerator, providing them with the resources and mentorship they need to build successful, impactful businesses. Africa’s tech ecosystem is a hotbed of innovation, and AI has the potential to be a transformative force across various sectors.”

This year’s program will run from June to September 2024 and will include the following.

  • Equity-free support: Up to USD 350,000 in Google Cloud credits.
  • Mentorship: Personalised guidance from Google AI experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.
  • Technical workshops: In-depth training on AI/ML development, product strategy, and scaling.
  • Global network: Connections to potential investors, partners, and customers.
  • Community: A supportive network of fellow founders facing similar challenges and opportunities.

To apply, go here