Facebook has opened its London accelerator programme to African startups for the first time.

This means startups from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be participating in the third edition of the London accelerator programme of Facebook—the leading social media and social networking service, which starts in November.

The accelerator programme will run for 12 weeks at Facebook's tech office in London, United Kingdom, called LDN_LAB. Startups creating impact with artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, blockchain and other Facebook technologies can apply now. Application closes on October 18.

While startups can participate remotely in the accelerator programme, Facebook noted that all startups are required to attend 2-3 bootcamps in London. Facebook Connectivity will support companies that are building solutions to bring faster, cheaper and better connectivity and internet services to people across Africa.

Innovation is at the heart of Facebook and today we are opening up our London accelerator programme to Africa. The selected start-ups 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.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President of EMEA at Facebook

The Facebook London programme will run in partnership with Founders Forum Group’s digital consultancy agency, Founders Intelligence.

In Nigeria, Facebook also runs the FBStart Accelerator programme in partnership with Co-Creation Hub. The accelerator programme runs for six months and allows student teams to participate virtually. It provides selected startups with technical support and mentorship from Facebook and CcHUB.

The 2018 cohort, which focused on deep tech, had 15 startups including Gricd, Quadron Studios, Vetsark, Project Move, DeepQuestAI, Up NEPA, Treplabs, Plantheus, Cycles, RoadPreppers and Smart Electricity.

Facebook, in a statement on Wednesday said, its product managers, data scientists, marketers, recruitment specialists and engineers will be offering mentorship to the startups involved in the London accelerator programme.