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Building community and funding Black founders

One of the unspoken truths of entrepreneurship is that it can be extremely lonely. When COVID-19 hit last year, I saw firsthand how the founders in our programs were affected. Office closures kept their employees apart, event cancellations kept founders from connecting, and many needed to pivot their startups to keep businesses afloat. Since our…

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One of the unspoken truths of entrepreneurship is that it can be extremely lonely. When COVID-19 hit last year, I saw firsthand how the founders in our programs were affected. Office closures kept their employees apart, event cancellations kept founders from connecting, and many needed to pivot their startups to keep businesses afloat. Since our mission is to level the playing field for underrepresented startup founders, I knew we would have to show up in a new way to ensure these founders did not fall through the cracks. 

The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund was built in response to both the financial and societal pressures facing Black founders. And while those pressures have always been present, they were magnified in 2020. Last year, we gave 76 Black-led startups up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding, meaning founders do not give up any ownership in their company in exchange for funding. Founders used this capital to keep their doors open, pay their employees, and focus on building their businesses. With this second $5 million investment in the U.S. Black Founders Fund, bringing the fund’s total to $10 million, more founders across the United States will receive this funding. The fund also includes technical support from tools and teams across Google, including as much as $120,000 in donated ads from Google.org and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits.

Today, we’re announcing the next 50 recipients of our second Black Founders Fund in the U.S., leaders who are solving problems in education, healthcare, sustainability and more. The 126 founders who are now a part of the fund in the United States have consistently told us about the importance of giving back and paying it forward. In this spirit, we asked the first group of founders to nominate recipients for the second round of the fund. 

We’ve seen that the fund has a catalytic effect for founders when raising capital after they receive these awards. In less than a year, our first group of founders went on to collectively raise more than $50 million in funding. In addition, about 80% of the founders used the awards to create jobs and reported the fund has helped grow their revenues. While the financial impact of that shouldn’t be understated, the most impressive takeaway I’ve witnessed since we started the fund isn’t about money. It’s the profound way this community of founders has shown up for each other, and ensured that they were not alone during this time. 

Facilitated by our partner Goodie Nation, founders attend weekly meetings in small groups where they can connect with each other, sharing experiences and resources. Black Founders Fund 2020 recipient Gerald Youngblood of Tankee, a gaming network for kids, nominated Ofo Ezeugwu from Whose Your Landlord, a platform that provides more transparency for renters. Goodie Nation CEO Joey Womack introduced them to one another. Gerald shared advice on a negotiation and fundraising approach that worked for Ofo — and later surprised him with the news that he is a 2021 Black Founders Fund recipient.

We know that the challenges founders of color in the U.S. face when raising funds for their companies aren’t specific just to Black founders. That’s why today we announced the Latino Founders Fund to support Latino-led startups across the country as part of our broader $15 million commitment to economic justice for the Latino community. Since the inception of the Black Founders Fund in the U.S., we have expanded to support a larger group of Black founders globally, investing a total of $16 million in more than 200 founders across the U.S., Brazil, Europe and Africa. As we welcome the next group of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, we’re excited to see how the founders continue to connect and build amazing companies. 

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A milestone for King’s Cross: a local innovation hub

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our…

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Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our most ambitious developments to date.

Today, together with local MP, Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould, and our building partners, we celebrated a major milestone in the construction of our new King’s Cross office – and in our long-standing commitment to the UK – as we placed the final beam on our new development.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said:

“It’s fantastic to attend not only as the leader of the Labour Party and local MP but as a proud local resident of more than 25 years. Congratulations to Google on your magnificent new building, and for all it represents – a seizing of opportunity, harnessing of talent, the creation of good, sustainable jobs and an immense contribution to our community. You’re showing what can be achieved when forward looking local government partners with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

We have long believed that creativity is spurred by environments that promote connection and wellbeing. This is more important than ever as we adapt to a future of flexible, hybrid working. Our new King’s Cross building will be equipped with new workplace technologies to help global and remote teams collaborate more effectively, build relationships, learn from colleagues and dream up new ways to solve complex challenges.

It will also be a place for community and connection thanks to the ground floor retail and community spaces, which are being curated with — and for — the local community. In the coming weeks, in partnership with more than 30 youth organisations in Camden, we’re excited to open our doors to 500 local young people for a week of taster sessions to inspire school students and job seekers with careers in technology, as well as more than 100 local work experience students.

Innovation extends to the design of the building itself, which is playing an important role in helping us to achieve our goal of going carbon free by 2030. We’re pioneering new technologies that will make our King’s Cross office our most ambitious smart building to date, including a system of 13,500 interconnected devices that will work together to improve energy efficiency in real time.

While the doors of our new King’s Cross development won’t open until 2024, incredible work is already underway nearby. The neighbourhood is home to thousands of our engineers working on products like Android, Wear OS, Search and Google Business Profiles, which are used the world over. In fact, many of the team behind some of our newest products – to be released later this year – are based right here in King’s Cross. We look forward to growing these teams and being a part of the local community’s future growth and development.

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Protecting people’s privacy on health topics

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy…

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Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.

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Google and U.S. developers find agreement over Google Play store

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play. Source

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Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.

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