Tech giant, Google has announced that its Launchpad Accelerator is accepting applications from African countries for the very first time. Startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are eligible to apply.

Now, entrepreneurs from these regions as well as Europe can join the 47 graduates and 31 startups currently participating.

The equity-free program accepts applications from late-stage tech startups in emerging markets. The six-month training begins at the Google Developers Launchpad space in San Francisco, which opened last year. This includes two weeks of mentorship from the Google team, top tech companies, and VCs in Silicon Valley.

In addition to the mentoring, participants receive credits for Google products, PR assistance, and continued support from Google back in their home country.

“The programme is totally provided without charge for accepted startups. We will carry all expenses for all programme activities, including sending up to three of your startup’s team members to Silicon Valley,” mentioned Google in a blog post.

“We offer this programme without a requirement for financial consideration in return. Google or its affiliates participate in other efforts that involve investment in return for financial consideration (such as Google Ventures), but they are unrelated to Launchpad Accelerator,” the post continued.

The next mentoring session will begin on July 17 — startups can apply here until April 24.

Credit: Google Blog, VentureBurn