Google is back with more funds and resources to help Black founders thrive and survive.
Originally created to help alleviate financial and societal pressures Black founders face, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is still continuing to help Black business owners along their journey. Last year, 76 Black-led startups received up to $100,000 in funding and didn’t have to give up any ownership to their company in the process.
Now with a second $5 million investment placed into the U.S. Black Founders Fund, the total amount of capital available for distribution has been raised to $10 million. This year’s recipients will receive support from tools and teams across Google, about $120,000 in donated search Ads from Google.org, and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits.
In an announcement made by the company, there were 50 recipients revealed to be a part of the second Black Founders Fund in the U.S. This year and last year combined bring that list to a total of 126 founders who are now a part of the fund.
The Importance Of Championing Black-Owned Businesses
Last year’s group of founders went on to raise over $50 million in funding as a unit following the inaugural Black Founders Fund in the U.S.
“Our focus is to help underrepresented founders grow their businesses and succeed in a space where the odds are often stacked against them,” said Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups, U.S., in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. “There is a huge gap in funding for Black founders as they are consistently overlooked, which often means they are locked out of access to the capital that is critical to their success – something I experienced first hand. Black startup founders are less likely to receive venture capital, are at higher risk of stress, and stalled professional development. It’s imperative that we support these amazing Black startup founders who are building great companies.”
The Selection Process
Recipients of this year’s fund were nominated by last year’s group of founders.
“Recipients of the awards have been nominated by partners in the Google for Startups network and/or have participated in programming from Google for Startups (e.g. Atlanta Founders Academy, Black Founders Exchange),” Solomon continued. “We’re excited that this year’s fund organically focused on the Black Founders Fund community and family, showcasing the strong connections made between last year’s founders who nominated the impressive Black founders who received this year’s fund.”
The Significance Of HBCU Grads Participating In The Fund
Recipients of this year’s fund include a few businesses that are led by Historically Black College and University (HBCUs) graduates.
“This year, we’re proud to have HBCU alumni make up 22% of [the] Black Founders Fund recipients. As an HBCU grad myself, this stat is especially meaningful to me,” expressed Solomon. “We continue to be committed to investing in Black leaders and professionals, and believe we have a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in the tech industry.”
Click here for more information on Google for Startups.