Identifying one of the numerous problems that we face in our day-to-day interaction is easy but building structures around solutions that address those problems is not a walk in the park. According to an article by Investopedia, 45% of startups fail during the first five years of starting due to several factors including business plan problems. Fortunately, these problems can be easily addressed in accelerator programs that equip the startup founders with relevant information, and access to data and mentors that can guide them through the choppy waters of entrepreneurship in a digital economy. Although few in number, there are programs that provide these benefits and many more to startups, one of which is the Google for Startups.
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Google for startups is Google’s initiative to help startups thrive across every corner of the world. They bring the best of Google’s products, connections and best practices to enable startups to build something better. A new class of the Google for startups is the Google for startups on UN Sustainable Development Goals which is adopted by all United Nations Member States and provides a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The Google for Startups Accelerator on SDGs will address challenges founders face when building social impact startups in terms of product and engineering expertise, business development, and access to funding.
The goal for the Google for Startups Accelerator: Sustainable Development Goals is to empower technology startups to build and scale viable social impact companies to solve the world’s biggest problems with the best of Google: its people, its network, and its advanced technology. While the call for application was opened in December 2019 till January 2020, several startups applied and only 11 were selected to start the first class of Google for Startups on UN SDGs. Of the selected 11, 3 were from African countries and 1 was from Nigeria.
Selected startups: Flare (Kenya), Solar Freeze (Kenya), Skilllab (Netherlands), Apic.ai (Germany), Everimpact (France), Ororatech (Germany), Ellipsis.earth (UK), Cervest.earth (UK), Wondertree (Pakistan), mDoc (Nigeria), and Oko (Israel).
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mDoc is a digital health social enterprise which leverages data, and quality improvement to care for people living with prolonged health needs and diseases by providing 24/7 access to integrated care support through a network of providers via mobile and web platforms. It connects people to a multi-disciplinary team of providers who have been trained in person-centred care to support them to manage their diseases. With the belief that healthcare and technology can help Africa unlock its true potential, they are on a mission to transform how African healthcare consumers receive the support they need to live longer, healthier, happier and more productive lives
Startups accepted into the sustainability accelerator will enjoy the following equity-free support from Google:
- 1:1 mentoring and support from a combination of Google mentors and carefully chosen external mentors.
- Assistance with technology, product, design, growth (including fundraising), and leadership training.
- Pairing with a Google Startup Success Manager to help connect your startup with specific resources within and outside Google.
- Inspirational keynote talks, panel discussions, and workshops with relevant experts.
- Membership in a collaborative, supportive community of relevant social impact partners.
This win for mDoc is a big addition to the tech and healthcare landscape in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa with the hopes that programs like this would help them scale bigger and provide better services to more people
I love this quote by Paulo Coelho
“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.”-Paulo Coelho
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