AFRICA – Facebook is inviting applications for the third edition of its London-based accelerator programme, which is open for the first time to African startups.

The Facebook accelerator is designed for startups from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) that are creating impact at scale using artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), blockchain and other Facebook technologies.

The 12-week programme begins in November, with startups gaining access to the knowledge and expertise of Facebook employees, which includes practical workshops in product, engineering, growth, impact, and bespoke mentorship.

Facebook is looking for startups that use pioneering technology to create a “positive impact in the world,” demonstrate progress in their product, growth and revenue, have a skilled and focused team and are interested in learning how to scale their business through Facebook.

Applications for Facebook Accelerator London will close on 18 October. Thereafter, the first part of the programme will run between 18 November and 13 December, with the second part taking place between 6 January and 28 February.

Those selected to join the programme will be required to attend three bootcamps that will take place between 18 and 22 November, 6 and 10 January, as well as 24 and 28 February.

Hosted inside Facebook’s London tech office, the programme will run in partnership with Founders Forum Group’s digital consultancy agency, Founders Intelligence.

Product managers, data scientists, marketers, recruitment specialists and engineers from Facebook will offer mentorship to the startups involved in the programme, while Facebook Connectivity will support companies that are building solutions to bring faster, cheaper and better connectivity and internet services to people across Africa.

Facebook vice-president for Europe the Middle East and Africa Nicola Mendelsohn said in a statement yesterday that selected startups will gain access to experts from across Facebook including those working in AR, blockchain and AI

“Innovation is at the heart of Facebook and today we are opening up our London accelerator programme to Africa. The selected startups will gain access to experts from across Facebook including those working in AR, blockchain and AI. We hope that through this programme we can help nurture a new cohort of businesses that make a positive impact on the world,” said Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president of EMEA at Facebook.