Announced in June, the fund provides non-dilutive cash awards of up to $100,000 to Black-led startups working to address needs and disparities in Black communities. The more than seventy recipients receiving grants in this round include Nate Washington, co-founder of Qoins, an app that helps users automate debt payments and save money every month; Seyi Fabode, co-founder of Varuna Tech, which provides visibility, awareness, and insights to water utilities, enabling them to deliver clean water to customers consistently; Terri-Nichelle Bradley, founder of Brown Toy Box, a children’s educational products company whose STEAM kits, toys, games, and digital content centers and celebrates Black children; and Kimberly Wilson, founder of Hued, a technology-enabled platform that diversifies the patient-physician experience by connecting Black and Latinx patients with culturally competent healthcare providers.
According to Google, less than 1 percent of venture capital goes to Black entrepreneurs in the U.S. When asked “What happens when you fund Black founders?”, grant recipients told Google that the additional resources help level the playing field, contribute to the success of entrepreneurs who bring different perspectives to new and old challenges, and support wealth generation and equal access to economic opportunity in Black communities.
“Black founders are consistently locked out of access to early capital that is critical to jump-starting their businesses,” wrote Jewel Burks Solomon, head of Google for Startups U.S., in a blog post. “With better access to capital early in their journey, founders can make critical hires and prove traction, setting their business up for sustained success.”