Lagos – Google Country Director, Mrs Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, say entrepreneurship is key to national development.
Ehimuan-Chiazor made the assertion at the inaugural Google Developers Launchpad Programme in Lagos on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Google Developers Lunchpad Programme is in partnership with the Co-creation Hub (Cchub).
According to the Country Director, Google believes that empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment growth and enable both economic and social development on the continent.
“The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of the continent.
“Therefore, Google is training `startups’ with the aim of creating opportunities for job seekers who are just entering the labour market.
“The Google’s inaugural Launchpad Startup boot camp in Nigeria is an avenue the youth and job seekers will utilise to empower themselves.
“Launchpad is Google’s mentorship-driven global startup programme which has a goal of driving real success for startups.
“The 5-day programme will focus on helping early-stage startups improve their business and product,” Ehimuan-Chiazor said.
She said that the Google Developers Launchpad Programme would be in three-phases – the Launchpad Build, Lunchpad Start and Lunchpad Accelerator.
Ehimuan-Chiazor described the Lunchpad Build as a single-day event focused on any stage startups that are building their app, platform or business on Google technology.
She said that towards the end of 2016, the first Launchpad Build events in Sub-Saharan Africa were held across Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town.
The Google Director said that the Launchpad Start, a five-day problem solving boot camp was designed for early stage startups.
“Each day of the boot camp focuses on a different skill with a specific target outcome at the end of the day. Launchpad Start Lagos is a one week workshop that will commence from Nov. 6 to 11.
“A total of 20-startups have been selected for Launchpad Start and they will have access to one-on-one mentorship and instructor-led workshops that will provide them with actionable, in-person training to help them tackle critical growth and scale challenges,” she said.
Ehimuan-Chiazor said that the Launchpad Accelerator, which was the final phase, was a 6-month hyper-acceleration programme for late-stage participating startups.
She said the programme was for startups who would get access to a global list of Mentors, Google engineers and a two-week all-expense-paid bootcamp experience at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco.
Ehimuan-Chiazor said that to take developers support to another level, Google in the near future would be introducing a Lunchpad Accelerator space in Lagos, a form of hub for African startups.
She said that the 100-mentors available had expertise in mentoring, subject matter needed and contextual knowledge that would help in empowering the startups.
The country director said that having a good team was also key to startups achieving the goal of validating their ideas at the end of the programme.
“Team is very key, validating the ideas, having a blue print or going back to the drawing board and engaging them for three-months was a paramount to their success,” she said.
She urged government to create an enabling environment and infrastructure in form of bandwith that would give room for investment in the country.
Mr Adetunji Eleso, the Co-founder and Director of Incubation, Cchub, said that the organisation would be a catalyst in providing funding for startups in the local ecosystem.
“We are looking for stronger companies that will grow its skills beyond Lagos and Africa and achieve more in their businesses.
“Having people going through the mentorship will help the survival process of businesses and the 21-startups will create jobs which will be good for the ecosystem,” he said.(NAN)