A new initiative by Google, Startups Accelerator: Sustainable Development Goals program started on 21st April for a duration of 5 months, aims to invest in technology start-ups in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
The mission of the program is to empower these start-ups and scale viable social impact companies by assisting these businesses in more than just funding through Google’s network and advanced technology. The program will facilitate Google to help in a number of ways that include technology assistance in design, raising funds, product development.
According to a Google announcement from 7th April 2020, it invested in 11 start-ups that are working towards U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals as a part of the first SDGs Accelerator Program, out of over thousand applications. Three of these, including Flare and Solar Freeze from Kenya and mDoc from Nigeria, were from Africa.
Flare, which is also known as Uber for Ambulances, has come out on top during the global pandemic. Caitlin Dolkart and Maria Rabinovich, founders of Flare, have created a digital platform for the healthcare sector which allows for customers to get to know the closest medical assistance or ambulance to them.
Solar Freeze aims to resolve a major issue that small African farmers face – nonreliability of old chain storage and transportation. Solar Freeze does not require an internet connection and provides cold storage units that are run by renewable energy which eradicate the post-harvest losses of these farmers and increase their output to market.
mDoc, founded by L. Nneka Mobiasaon and Imo Utek, is another start-up addressing a serious problem in the healthcare industry of Africa through technology. mDoc is a digital social enterprise with platforms like CompleteHealth and NudgeHubs that give people living with chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes access to 24/7 healthcare resources through a network of providers.
With the successful launch of the first round of the program, Google has started its applications for the next round to assist more companies that address the various social and environmental problems in the world.