Google Selects Five African Startups for its AI for Health Accelerator Program


Five African startups namely Eden Care from Rwanda, iZola from Kenya: mDoc from Nigeria, Pharmarun from Nigeria and Zuri Health from Kenya have been selected among the 2023 cohort of the Google for Startups Growth Academy: AI for Health after an intensive selection process that started in May.

The five startups from Africa, among the 30 transformative startups from across Europe, Middle East, and Africa will join Google’s Google for Startups Growth Academy: AI for Health, a hybrid program dedicated to supporting high-potential startups using AI technology to grow and innovate responsibly in the healthcare and well-being industry.

The startups will have three months of workshops, mentoring, and networking events, founders develop data-driven strategies for acquiring new customers and partnerships, innovate responsibly with emerging technologies, and expand to new markets.

According to Yuval Passov, Head of Google for Startup and lead of the program: “Africa’s innovative spirit in the AI for Health domain is profoundly inspiring. These startups stand as a testament to the continent’s ability to develop global health solutions. We aim to stand alongside them, offering support and partnership as they strive to scale and disseminate their groundbreaking solutions.”

The 30 startups will receive three months of equity-free support, combined with access to Google products and resources, mentorship, d AI professionals to harness AI as a transformative instrument, addressing significant challenges from early disease detection to ensuring information accessibility. Their innovations not only improve billions of lives but also drive robust economic growth.

Eden Care merges AI and digital health to reshape health insurance and corporate well-being while Kenya’s iZola enhances support for families with neurodivergent children via an AI-integrated therapeutics platform. Nigeria’s mDoc elevates personal health practices through virtual health mentorship and Nigeria’s Pharmarun unifies regional pharmacies with an innovative, patient-first platform. Kenya and Nigeria’s Zuri Health wants to revolutionize patient care with an all-inclusive digital toolkit.

Among the selected startups outside Africa, Biocam has introduced a capsule that scans the digestive system in real-time to identify potential threats. Mindstep offers an app focused on enhancing brain and mental health, while Rayscape provides radiologists with a digital assistant equipped with AI tools for better decision-making.

This initiative aligns with Google’s broader vision to support startups and accelerate their growth. In August Google announced a broader program, the Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First, a 10-week equity free accelerator aimed at supporting African startups looking to use artificial intelligence to solve local challenges.

Since introducing the Google for Startups Accelerator programs in Africa in 2018, Google has supported 106 startups from 17 African countries and these startups have collectively raised over $263 million in funding and created over 2,800 jobs.

Recently Google revealed the establishment of an AI research centre as part of its efforts to combat food shortages in Africa. Google’s initiative includes the establishment of an AI centre focused on addressing food insecurity in Africa and the allocation of $25 million in funding for 15 AI projects, including those in Kenya and South Africa, as part of its Global Goals Impact Challenge on AI for the SDGs.