Google Begins Launchpad Bootcamp, Seeks Govt Intervention


Emma Okonji

Having rolled out the Google Developers Launchpad initiative for technology startups in various countries of the world, Google on Monday in Lagos, commenced its inaugural Launchpad Start Bootcamp in Nigeria, in collaboration with CCHub, the technology incubation centre located in Yaba, Lagos.

Launchpad is Google’s mentorship-driven global startup programme, which has a goal of driving real success for startups. The five-day programme will focus on helping early-stage startups improve their businesses and products.

Announcing the Google Developers Launchpad initiative in Nigeria, the Google Nigeria Country Manager, Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said that the idea would enable Google train and mentor startups and make them global players, a situation, she said, would also help in creating jobs among Nigerian youths.

She therefore called on government to address the issue of infrastructural challenge, which often times, impedes speedy development of technology startups in Nigeria.

According to her, “The growth of entrepreneurship in Africa is critical to the survival of the continent. Therefore, we are training startups with the aim of creating opportunities for job seekers who are just entering the labour market.”

The Google Developers Launchpad Program is a three-phase programme. The first phase is Launchpad Build – a single-day event focused on any stage startups that are building their app, platform or business on Google technology. Towards the end of 2016, the first Launchpad Build events in sub-Saharan Africa were held across Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town.

The Launchpad Start is a 5-day problem solving bootcamp designed for early stage startups. Each day of the bootcamp focuses on a different skill with a specific target outcome at the end of the day. Launchpad Start Lagos is a one week workshop that commenced on 6th and run till 11th of November 2017.

A total of 20 startups have been selected for Launchpad Start and they will have access to one-on-one mentorship and instructor-led workshops that will provide them with actionable, in-person training to help them tackle critical growth and scale challenges.

Launchpad Accelerator, which is the final phase, is a 6-month hyper-acceleration program for late-stage participating startups who get access to a global list of mentors, Google engineers and a 2-week all-expense-paid bootcamp experience at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco, in California, US.
Programme Manager at Google, Mr. John Kimani said the startups would be trained to address specific challenges in their environment, using technology solution. The training will also cover the business area on how to make their solutions commercially viable and marketable.

Co-founder, CCHub, Mr. Tunji Elesho thanked Google for the collaboration, explaining that the Google Developers Launchpad initiative is in line with CCHub initiative to support and mentor technology startups with great and scalable ideals.