Google launches first ever startup accelerator program for startups MENA

MENA – Google has announced that the launch of its first ever startup accelerator program, Google for Startups Accelerator, for startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; consequently, applications are invited from suitably qualified startups.

The initiative is a three-month digital business acceleration programme aimed at the MENA region that targets technology startups in the initial financing (Seed) and Initial Investment (Series A) stages.

Launched in early October as part of the Grow Stronger with Google regional program, the Google for Startups Accelerator.

With an aim to bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to founder communities across the globe, the program is scheduled to be held virtually from January 2021.

“The MENA region is rich in homegrown entrepreneurs which during the pandemic have stepped up to solve for unexpected challenges with innovative technology and resilience.”

Salim Abid – Google’s Regional Lead of Developer Ecosystem, MENA

A selected set of 10 to 15 MENA-headquartered startups will take part by founders being invited to summarize the main challenges faced by their firms. They will then be paired up with experts from Google and the industry to which the firm belongs to help solve the discussed issues.

“The MENA region is rich in homegrown entrepreneurs which during the pandemic have stepped up to solve for unexpected challenges with innovative technology and resilience. I’m looking forward to working with the next innovators,” said Salim Abid, Google’s Regional Lead of Developer Ecosystem for MENA.

The founders of the selected startups will also be provided with mentorship on technical and business challenges, as well as workshops on machine learning technology, product design/UX, customer acquisition, and leadership development.

Interested technology startups must be headquartered in the MENA region and must have already raised seed funding in order to apply.

Google’s criteria for selection will also include the nature of the underlying problem the startup is attempting to solve, value created for the end-users, and whether the firm addresses a genuine issue in their home city, country, or the MENA region as a whole.

In addition, the usage of AI/ML technology will also play a role in selection of a given product/service/operation.

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