The Google for Startups Growth Academy: AI for Health on Tuesday announced that two Nigerian startups, mDoc Nigeria and Pharmarun Nigeria, are among 30 startups chosen for the programme.
Yuval Passov, Head, Google for Startups and progamme lead, said in a statement that three other African startups were chosen for the programme, making five African startups in all that were selected.
Passov said that the 30 transformative startups were selected from across Europe, Middle-East and Africa.
He said that the 30 startups were chosen because they were using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make healthcare better for everyone.
“From developing new treatments to improving the accuracy of diagnosis and personalizing care for patients, startups are using AI to make healthcare better for everyone.
“The 30 startups in our 2023 cohort are reshaping healthcare using Artificial Intelligence-empowered solutions.
“Startups worldwide are harnessing AI as a transformative instrument to address significant challenges from early disease detection to ensuring information accessibility.
“mDoc Nigeria elevates personal health practices through virtual health mentorship and Pharmarun Nigeria unifies regional pharmacies with an innovative, patient-first platform.
“The other African startups in the cohort include Eden Care Rwanda, which is merging AI and digital health to reshape health insurance and corporate well-being.
“iZola Limited Kenya is enhancing support for families with neurodivergent children through AI-integrated therapeutics platform and Zuri Health, Kenya is revolutionising patient care with an all-inclusive digital toolkit,” Passov said.
He noted that these startups stood as testament to the continent’s ability to develop global health solutions.
The programme lead said that the Growth Academy aimed at standing alongside these startups, offering support and partnership as they strove to scale and disseminate their groundbreaking solutions.
The Academy is a three-month programme consisting of virtual workshops on best practices for AI and leadership development, responsible innovation, product design and customer acquisition.
It will also include one-on-one mentorship sessions and technical project support from experts from Google Research, Google Health, Verily, Fitbit, Google DeepMind and more.
There will be two in-person summits designed to connect founders to venture capitalists, industry experts and other founders building with AI in the healthcare and wellbeing space.
After the programme’s conclusion, the founders will continue to receive expert support through the Google for Startups alumni network.
According to Passov, this initiative aligns with Google’s broader vision to support startups and accelerate their growth.
He said that in August, Google announced a broader programme, the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First, a 10-week equity free accelerator.
Passov said that the programme aimed at supporting African startups looking to use artificial intelligence to solve local challenges.
He stressed that startups innovations not only improve billions of lives but also drive robust economic growth.
“Since introducing the Google for Startups Accelerator programmes in Africa in 2018, Google has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries.
“These startups have collectively raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 jobs,” he added.
Passov said that the selected startups for the academy outside Africa included Biocam, Mindstep and Rayscape among others.
The Google for Startups Growth Academy: AI for Health is a hybrid programme dedicated to supporting high potential startups leveraging AI technology to grow and innovate responsibly.