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Google’s Umbono set to announce first winners

Google’s recently launched startup incubator, Umbono, is set to announce the first winners in its pilot programme on the 1st of November in an event in Cape Town.

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Umbono is aimed at bringing technology startups together with seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The programme, a Google first worldwide, is being tested in Cape Town, South Africa which was chosen because Google believes the city is in “the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology”.

The search giant says the incubator is “in keeping with its ongoing commitment to foster innovation in Africa” and it will help selected startup teams transform their ideas into companies.

“We’ve seen some terrific startups come from this environment, companies like Yola, MXit and Twangoo. Google’s latest investment with Umbono is a great extension of our overall strategy in the region to strengthen the web ecosystem.”

The winners will enjoy free office space and bandwidth for six months, in addition to the US$25 000 to US$50 000 in funding they’ll receive from Umbono’s panel of angel investors and Google.

“Our experts — Googlers from around the world who are volunteering their time — are passionate about technology in Africa and will be able to help teams with the challenges they face, whether it be on the product, business or technical front,” says Google.

Entries opened to all South African residents on the Umbono website on 22 March.

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