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Umbono, Google’s first technology incubator in Africa is launched


UmbonoSouth 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:

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.

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12 thoughts on “Umbono, Google’s first technology incubator in Africa is launched

  1. Good for the South Africans bad for us by the time we get started they will be miles away

    1. Actually it’s good for all of us. Google will not discriminate against nationality but (assuming here as it makes common business sense). if you have a great idea, Google is now much closer and would love to help you out.

      Becoming an SA resident is surely not THAT difficult. If your startup proves to be the successful profit making company that you envisioned, you can always open an office in Zim and maybe help setup a tech incubator here.

  2. would be nice to have the same concept running here in zim .ICT provides the fastest way 4 zim to bridge the poverty gap in so many different sectors , thereby transforming communities. It is one of the sectors et should actually be a priority 4 govt investment n stimulus. e govt wd do well therefore to encourage google to settle here w e same concept…

  3. Please somebody tell Chamisa to put his energies in this direction not just setup websites. Politicians across the board are just interested in mileage in Zim. With International online payment platforms mostly sanctioned here, Google will simply not come here. Too many restrictions for legal things here, if its not Potraz then its Zimra or some overnight govt directive blasting your dreams. We need help. Im not buying this high literacy lie about us, there is no evidence on the ground. Kenya & S.A are way ahead even Bots & Namibia. Mozambique is overtaking us.

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