Start-ups have been advised to embrace innovation in order to remain relevant in the 21st century business world..
Speaking at the 2019 Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa (GLAA) graduation programme, Fola Olatunji David, head of Start-up Success and Services, said due to global changes and technological advancement, infrastructure is different from how it was 20 years ago.
He said present infrastructure challenges have given a platform for solutions as well as engagement in technological advancement to fill the infrastructure gap, adding that technology is important for a business to thrive.
“We believe Africans can solve Africa’s problems. In running Launchpad Accelerator Africa, we specifically look to work with start-ups which share this vision. Launchpad Class 4 is tackling some of Africa’s most pressing challenges, including access to financial services, education, and agriculture,” he said.
“We cannot rely on the government to do everything for us, so we have to create jobs and the MSME is a sector with lots of job opportunities. If we give them the right tools and support, MSMEs will eventually grow to become big and sustainable organisations which will grow the economy by creating more jobs in the country,” he added.
He said the GLAA programme, which runs twice a year, is a three-month programme which provides start-ups with technology, business development, mentorship, strategy and product and at the end induct them into the alumni network, providing another platform of opportunities
“Every year, Africa’s economic growth continues to strengthen. Google for Startups has put its weight behind supporting the continent’s start-ups as they continue to build great products tackling key global social issues. This is an incredibly exciting space which is very relevant to UK ecosystem and investors,” says Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Startups, UK.
Craig Fenton, director strategy and operations Google, U.K, said, “Change is constant, and it is necessary to engage in constant critical examination of yourself and your business. You have to be creative and continually innovative because this is a superpower that separate winners from losers.”
JR Kanu, co-founder of Reach and a graduate of the Google Class 4 Startups, said the programme was a goldmine of opportunities and an avenue to rebrand the business.
The maiden edition of the Google Startup Week in Lagos, with participants across Africa, had activities including pitch funding from some of Africa and the UK’s top venture capitalists (VCs).
The fourth set of graduates from the GLAA programme were 12 in number from six countries in Africa addressing six different sectors and providing solutions with technology. These startups have collectively raised $4.3m, created over 300 jobs and signed up over 110 000 users. They jointly raised over $600,000 before the commencement of the programme, and have been able to use Launchpad Accelerator Africa to scale their businesses to new levels
The launchpad Accelerator Africa is in line with Google’s commitment to training 60 African startups over 3 years, representing over $3-million in equity-free support, working space, and access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley, and Africa.