Google has launched a technology startup incubator for Africa called Umbono, reports Memeburn.
Umbono aims to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders.
In Zulu language, the word ‘Umbono’ means vision, sight or idea.
According to Memeburn,
“Google chose South Africa as a pilot for the initiative — and if successful, may take the model to other parts of the globe. Google says it chose Cape Town because the city is in “the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology”.
“The South African tech scene is incredibly dynamic, particularly in Cape Town,” said Luke McKend, Google’s South Africa Country Manager. “We’ve seen some terrific startups come from this environment, companies like Yola, MXit and Twangoo. Google’s latest investment with Umbono is a great extension of our overall strategy in the region to strengthen the web ecosystem.”
The incubator would provide the following to startups and entrepreneurs:
1. Funding of $25,000 to $50,000 seed capital, so that teams can focus on developing an idea into a business.
2. Free collaborative work space and bandwidth in Cape Town.
3. A full curriculum to help with business strategy and planning and the freedom to decide which skills you’d like to hone.
4. A deep bench of mentors including Googlers, VCs, and Angels that allows entrepreneurs tap into business and product development expertise unlike any other.
5. Visibility through networking and pitch events that’ll provide entrepreneurs with a platform for growth.
It is expected that successful funders will move to Cape Town and work “onsite” to take advantage of this opportunity.
I’m hoping that the incubator will give attention to and accommodate non-SA startups in other African countries.
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