The second iteration of Google For Startups Black Founders Found is a lesson in the power of community.
The 76 founders in the inaugural 2020 cohort were asked to nominate their startup peers to take part in the fund in 2021. 50 of those candidates were selected and will receive up to $100,000 in capital along with additional credits and services from Google.
“The most impressive thing I’ve seen since we started the fund is how this community of founders has been a support system for each other,” Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups U.S., told Hypepotamus. “We know that the money is appreciated and impactful, but we also heard from founders how important it is to them that they give back and pay it forward. That’s why we asked the first group of founders to nominate recipients for the second round of the fund – and the reactions were priceless!”
Meet The Southeast Founders
The fourteen Georgia-based startups in the cohort represent the state’s FinTech, B2B, HealthTech, and MediaTech spaces.
Georgia’s financially-focused startups include the payment management platform Swipe Credit, Client billing service Billseye, Business funding search platform FundStory, and RetailTech startup Freeing Returns.
Other Georgia startups selected include:
- Gear rental platform BoxedUp, Inc.
- Productivity CRM Fourth Party
- Drug screening technology platform EyeGage, Inc.
- Interactive livestreaming BingeWave
- IT technology to combat homelessness Mini City
- Leadership toolkit platform unboXt
- Resource platform for veterans Promenade
- Services for college students BestFit, Inc.
- Diverse gift wrapping Greentop Gifts
- Podcast production management platform Podpal
Birmingham’s startup scene is also well represented with Acclinate, Mixtroz, and SynsorMed.
Black Founders Fund’s Impact
“Today’s investment from Google is more proof that the Fifth District is home to tech and Black excellence,” says Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), when asked about the fund. “Atlanta is home to four times more Black people working in the tech sector than San Francisco, and we are poised to become the Silicon Valley of the South. But access to capital is another obstacle Black entrepreneurs must overcome in the face of structural racism. I am confident that with this support, talented entrepreneurs will have the resources needed to elevate their ventures. I thank Google for their support, but also for taking another step to honor their commitment to racial equity in entrepreneurship.”
Georgia-based startups in the first cohort have already raised $8.6 million, according to Solomon.
Nationally, 2020 founders have brought in $50 million in outside funding since going through the program. 80% of those startups have also started hiring — a sign that the Black Founders Fund’s impact on the community is only set to grow more throughout the region in the years to come.
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