Google has opened the application submission window for startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to apply to the first edition of the region’s Google Accelerator for Business Startup programme.
The Google Business Startup Accelerator: Middle East and North Africa was announced in October, as part of the global technology giant’s regional programme “Go Strong with Google”.
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.
The programme is scheduled to start in January 2021 on a virtual platform, and will include 10 to 15 startups from the MENA region.
As part of the programme, founders of the selected startups will be asked to identify the most important challenges facing them, and then coordinate with relevant experts from Google to solve these challenges.
The programme will also include providing support and training services to startup founders on various technical and professional challenges. It will also provide them with the opportunity to participate in workshops on machine learning technologies, product design, user experience design, and leadership skills.
Conditions for applying for the programme include that the startup be headquartered in the MENA region, and be operating in the technology field. It should also have received initial funding.
Google will also take into account issues the startup is trying to solve and how it works to provide a valuable experience for users, and its contribution to addressing a real challenge at the city, country or regional level.
The tech company will also consider whether the startup aims to employ machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology in its products, services, and operations, to help solve current challenges and grow in the long term.
Selim Obaid, Regional Official for Developer Relations in the MENA region at Google, said that the application process for the first edition of the Google Accelerator for Startups will close by the end of December. The names of those startups selected will be announced in January 2021.