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Season 3 of the ‘Founded’ podcast is here

What were you doing before launching Onramp?I spent several years working in the coding bootcamp industry, where I saw thousands of graduates complete intensive programs with the promise of a new career at the end of that journey. But I learned that even if candidates managed to acquire a baseline set of technical skills that…

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What were you doing before launching Onramp?

I spent several years working in the coding bootcamp industry, where I saw thousands of graduates complete intensive programs with the promise of a new career at the end of that journey. But I learned that even if candidates managed to acquire a baseline set of technical skills that should give them a competitive edge in the job market, they still faced significant bias due to hiring practices in the industry. Companies have spent years scaling traditional hiring methods like industry and university recruiting, and those processes filter out a lot of capable candidates from non-traditional backgrounds. And  it’s within these non-traditional pipelines where more diverse candidates can be found. 

I realized that if we wanted to make meaningful inroads on this problem, we needed to build the bridge backward from the company to the candidates and encourage businesses to invest in workforce development and candidate upskilling. My co-founder and I saw a gap in the market, so we decided to fill it.

Tell us more about Onramp.

Onramp is a workforce development platform connecting companies, candidates and employees and education providers more holistically. We grow talent pools and onboard candidates for companies while also increasing the racial and gender diversity of those talent pools by helping underrepresented candidates be more competitive in the recruiting process. We’re not the first to say this, but the diversity pipeline problem truly is a myth. We’ve seen the depth of diverse talent, and we know access to opportunities grows when there’s a willingness to maximize the potential of these candidates. So the solution isn’t as simple as “let’s find more Black, Latinx, Women, Non-Binary, etc., candidates and teach them to code,” it’s fixing broken hiring processes that lock the door to candidates who have the skills. 

How can we elevate the voices of women founders? 

Storytelling is a great way to introduce new ideas to people. Sharing my story on the Founded podcast will hopefully show other women who are thinking of launching products or businesses that it can be done. I don’t have the pedigree of most successful founders. I didn’t learn to code at an early age and hack and tinker for fun. I didn’t study computer science in college. I didn’t go to Harvard or Stanford business school. My resume isn’t stacked with name-brand tech companies or startups to give me credibility. I worked hard to carve a niche for myself in an industry that spoke to my personal experience and built something to solve a problem I personally experienced. And now I run a venture-backed company. I think it’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to know that there’s no one right way to start this journey and that there’s a path for them if they’re willing to do the work to pave it.

What more needs to be done to level the playing field for women founders? 

Funding. Only 2.3% of venture capital (VC) funding went to women-founded companies in 2020, a decrease from the previous year. Things are getting worse, not better. Black founders receive around 1% of VC funding, and as you can imagine being at the intersection of those two groups, things are abysmal. I think everyone wants to talk about progress, and don’t get me wrong, there are definitely exciting things happening for Black and women founders. But we’re still pushing a boulder up a mountain, and it’s exhausting.

What advice do you have for founders?

I think the sooner you can tap into a community to support you on your journey, the easier it will be for you. Whether that’s a social network like Elpha or Hello Alice or an accelerator program (we did the Bridge to Success program with Juvo Ventures last winter, another Black/women-led VC), you need somewhere to go for advice, resources, mentorship and commiseration. 

You can hear more from Lateesha in the latest series of Founded on Google Podcasts or wherever you listen.

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Step into the Meroë pyramids with Google

When you think of pyramids does your mind wander to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the Mayan Temples of Guatemala? Great civilizations built each of these pyramids and inscribed their stories onto the walls of them, offering glimpses into their daily life.The Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan, while lesser known, are no different.…

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When you think of pyramids does your mind wander to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the Mayan Temples of Guatemala? Great civilizations built each of these pyramids and inscribed their stories onto the walls of them, offering glimpses into their daily life.

The Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan, while lesser known, are no different. Today, you can explore these stunning pyramids, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site, on Google Arts & Culture.

Over 200 pyramids were constructed in Meroë, the third and final capital of the Kushite Kingdom, an ancient African civilization that ruled the lands of Nubia for over 3000 years. Now you can take a virtual walk through the Pyramids of Meroë and explore the inscriptions using Street View’s panoramic imagery. You can also learn more about the Kushite Kingdom, their royalty and the architecture behind the pyramids in an immersive web experience that’s available in a range of languages including Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish.

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Bay View is open — the first campus built by Google

Taking green building to a new scaleTo deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.The…

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Taking green building to a new scale

To deliver on our commitment to operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030, we prioritized renewable energy and maximized the solar potential of our buildings. Bay View’s first-of-its-kind dragonscale solar skin and nearby wind farms will power it on carbon-free energy 90% of the time.

The campus is also on track to be the largest project certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) under any of their programs, at any certification level. As part of ILFI’s Living Building Challenge, we’re targeting a Water Petal certification, meaning the site is net-positive with all non-potable water demands being met using the recycled water generated on site. Above-ground ponds that gather rainwater year round and a building wastewater treatment system serve as water sources for cooling towers, flushing toilets and irrigating the landscape. This is a big step toward delivering on our commitment to replenish 120% of the water we consume by 2030.

It doesn’t stop there. Bay View is an example of an all-electric campus and shows what’s possible in regenerative building. Here’s how:

  • The two kitchens that serve seven cafes are equipped with electric equipment rather than gas — a template for fully carbon-free cafes and kitchens.
  • There are 17.3 acres of high-value natural areas — including wet meadows, woodlands and a marsh — that are designed to reestablish native landscapes and rehabilitate Bay Area wetlands. Something that’s especially important as Bay View sits close to the San Francisco Bay.
  • The water retention ponds not only collect water for reuse, but also provide nature restoration, sea level rise protection, and access to the beauty of natural wetlands. New willow groves along the stormwater ponds provide resources for wildlife.
  • The integrated geothermal pile system will help heat and cool the campus. The massive geoexchange field is integrated into the structural system, reducing the amount of water typically used for cooling by 90% — that’s equal to five million gallons of water annually.

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Seniors search what they see, using a new Lens

“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”Seniors in a…

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“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”

Seniors in a country like Denmark are generally very tech savvy, but with digitization constantly advancing — accelerating even faster during two years of COVID-19 — some seniors risk being left behind, creating gaps between generations. During worldwide lockdowns, technological tools have helped seniors stay connected with their family and friends, and smartphone features have helped improve everyday life. One key element of that is delivering accurate and useful information when needed. And for that, typed words on a smartphone keyboard can often be substituted with a visual search, using a single tap on the screen.

Being able to “search what you see” in this way was an eye-opener to many. As the day ended, another avid participant, Henrik Rasmussen, declared he was heading straight home to continue his practice.

“I thought I was up to speed on digital developments, but after today I realize that I still have a lot to learn and discover,” he said.

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