South African tech entrepreneurs today just got a huge opportunity to have their startups jump started by Google. The global tech giant has announced the launch of its first technology startup incubator in South Africa. The incubator is called Umbono and is based in Cape Town.
Google is working with Silicon Cape Initiative, a community of South Africa tech entrepreneurs and the Bandwidth Barn, a Cape Town based ICT business incubator. Umbono is open to all South African residents and is currently open to applications for its first round of incubation.
Here are some excerpts of the Google blog post:
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Bringing together seed capital, Google mentorship, ‘Angel’ investors, local tech stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders, the Umbono program will help selected internet or mobile-focused start-up teams transform their ideas into companies. As part of its goal to strengthen the web ecosystem across Africa, Google hopes that Umbono will further encourage the growth of the developer community and support the country’s already flourishing tech sector.
For six months, teams will enjoy free office space and bandwidth, in addition to the US$25,000 to $50,000 (ZAR 175,000 to 350,000) in funding they’ll receive from Umbono’s panel of angel investors and Google. Teams will not only benefit from local connections, but also from the extensive mentorship network of Google experts who can provide guidance on issues ranging from product design and commercialization to legal incorporation and valuation.