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Apply now for the Google for Startups Founders Academy

Starting today, Google for Startups is accepting applications for the third cohort of our Founders Academy, which focuses on supporting Black, Latinx and veteran founders across the US. If you’re interested in joining this virtual, four-month program, apply here by January 10, 2022.Founders Academy equips founders with the tools, best practices and community needed to…

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Starting today, Google for Startups is accepting applications for the third cohort of our Founders Academy, which focuses on supporting Black, Latinx and veteran founders across the US. If you’re interested in joining this virtual, four-month program, apply here by January 10, 2022.

Founders Academy equips founders with the tools, best practices and community needed to raise capital and grow their startups. Googlers and industry experts lead weekly sessions that cover topics like fundraising, hiring and product development. All participants are paired with a Google mentor who helps set clear business goals for the program and connect founders to people who can help them achieve these ambitions. Additionally, participants are provided access to investor office hours, PR support, and mental health coaches at no cost.

Hear what a few of this year’s Founders Academy alumni have to say about what this experience has meant for their startups.

Edna Martinson, Founder of Boddle Learning in Tulsa, Oklahoma

“Boddle had begun raising a round of funding when we started the Founders Academy. The timing was fortuitous because it allowed us to take advantage of the program’s investor-in-residence. Tony was instrumental in helping us crystallize our pitch to VCs and gain better insights on negotiating for the $1.45M funding round that we eventually raised.

We also worked closely with Google mentors throughout the program. When we ran our first TV ad, Google marketing employees provided valuable feedback on the commercial and on our overall brand strategy. Our assigned Google mentor, Jacob, helped us develop quarterly and annual company goals which has given us much needed structure as we continue to rapidly grow (80,000+ new students now sign up every week!). It’s been several months since we’ve completed the program and we still regularly keep in touch with our Googler friends.”

Luis Suarez, Founder of Sanarai in Chicago, Illinois

“As a founder working in the mental health space, it’s my job to be on the lookout for the emotional and psychological well-being of my employees, my customers and myself. The Founders Academy provided me with a mental health coach, and I worked closely with them every week. Being able to come to this program with a clear mind — thanks in part to that therapist — made the Founders Academy experience that much better for me and my business. The programming, combined with an amazing community of fellow founders, was an incredible experience for our team.”

Janice Omadeke, Founder of The Mentor Method in Austin, Texas

“With the changing work environment during the shutdown, I knew there was an opportunity to scale The Mentor Method, and wanted guidance on how to iterate our customer acquisition strategy to match the expanding market. I found exactly what I was looking for during the sales and storytelling portion of the program which was led by a team who trains Google’s own salespeople. This part of the program was my favorite because it showed me the importance of being my company’s best advocate and gave me new tools to effectively communicate my business to prospective investors, customers, and strategic partners.

Over the past year, my startup has doubled its revenue, more than quadrupled its employees, and raised over $1.5M in funding. I’ve been thrilled to achieve this sort of growth for the business, but I’d be lying if I said it’s been all smiles. Mid-program I experienced the loss of my mother, and, almost immediately, my program mental health coach Genie stepped in to help me balance my mind and my business during such a difficult time. I’m so grateful to her and to the Founders Academy community for the opportunity as well as the ongoing support.”

Interested founders can apply here by January 10th, 2022.

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Survey shows how people decide what to trust online

Alex Mahadevan is director of MediaWise at the Poynter Institute. He has taught digital media literacy to thousands of middle and high schoolers, and has trained hundreds of journalists from around the world in verification and digital investigative tools. We caught up with Alex to find out about a recent information literacy survey his organization…

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Alex Mahadevan is director of MediaWise at the Poynter Institute. He has taught digital media literacy to thousands of middle and high schoolers, and has trained hundreds of journalists from around the world in verification and digital investigative tools. We caught up with Alex to find out about a recent information literacy survey his organization conducted in partnership with YouGov, with support from Google. Learn more about how Google is working on information literacy and helping you spot misinformation online.

Why was this survey conducted?

Misinformation isn’t a new problem, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially on the internet. We wanted to learn more about how people across generational lines verify information and decide what to trust and share online. And we knew this research would help us expand on the educational resources MediaWise has to offer.

What were the parameters for the survey?

We surveyed more than 8,500 respondents of various ages in the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Nigeria, India and Japan. We asked a wide range of questions aimed at assessing information literacy skills and verification habits. Those include queries about everything from the tools and techniques someone uses to investigate a post they see online, to the reasons why they may have shared misleading information in the past.

What are some of the biggest takeaways?

The survey found that 62% of respondents think they see false or misleading information on at least a weekly basis – that’s a staggering number. And people are aware that it’s a serious issue. Roughly 50% of all Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z respondents (these are people ages 18 to 57) said they’re concerned about their family being exposed to it.

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New ways we’re helping you find high-quality information

AI models are also helping our systems understand when a featured snippet might not be the most helpful way to present information. This is particularly helpful for questions where there is no answer: for example, a recent search for “when did snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln” provided a snippet highlighting an accurate date and information about…

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AI models are also helping our systems understand when a featured snippet might not be the most helpful way to present information. This is particularly helpful for questions where there is no answer: for example, a recent search for “when did snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln” provided a snippet highlighting an accurate date and information about Lincoln’s assassination, but this clearly isn’t the most helpful way to display this result.

We’ve trained our systems to get better at detecting these sorts of false premises, which are not very common, but are cases where it’s not helpful to show a featured snippet. We’ve reduced the triggering of featured snippets in these cases by 40% with this update.

Information literacy

Beyond designing our systems to return high-quality information, we also build information literacy features in Google Search that help people evaluate information, whether they found it on social media or in conversations with family or friends. In fact, in a study this year, researchers found that people regularly use Google as a tool to validate information encountered on other platforms. We’ve invested in building a growing range of information literacy features — including Fact Check Explorer, Reverse image search, and About this result — and today, we’re announcing several updates to make these features even more helpful.

Expanding About this result to more places

About this result helps you see more context about any Search result before you ever visit a web page, just by tapping the three dots next to the result. Since launching last year, people have used About this result more than 2.4 billion times, and we’re bringing it to even more people and places – with eight more languages including Portuguese (PT), French (FR), Italian (IT), German (DE), Dutch (NL), Spanish (ES), Japanese (JP) and Indonesian (ID), coming later this year.

This week, we’re adding more context to About this result, such as how widely a source is circulated, online reviews about a source or company, whether a company is owned by another entity, or even when our systems can’t find much info about a source – all pieces of information that can provide important context.

And we’ve now launched About this page in the Google app, so you can get helpful context about websites as you’re browsing the web. Just swipe up from the navigation bar on any page to get more information about the source – helping you explore with confidence, no matter where you are online.

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Finding community and customers through Growth Academy: Women Founders

With thousands of highly-valued tech companies, a global-first market approach, and a strong economy dominated by entrepreneurship, it’s clear why Israel’s nickname is ‘The Startup Nation.’However, this thriving startup ecosystem isn’t equally supportive of all aspiring founders. According to the latest Israeli Tech Gender Distribution Report, spearheaded by Google for Startups and IVC Data and…

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With thousands of highly-valued tech companies, a global-first market approach, and a strong economy dominated by entrepreneurship, it’s clear why Israel’s nickname is ‘The Startup Nation.’

However, this thriving startup ecosystem isn’t equally supportive of all aspiring founders. According to the latest Israeli Tech Gender Distribution Report, spearheaded by Google for Startups and IVC Data and Insights, only 2% of startups with a woman founder raised above $50 million between 2018 and 2021. While the number of entirely women-led companies has doubled in the past decade, they still only comprise 6.3% of Israeli startups — and only 13.9% of startups had at least one woman co-founder in a mixed-gender founding team.

I fall into the latter category. My cofounder Gal Benbeniste and I met during college, where we bonded over how outdated the investment world is. What started with trying to figure out a simple way to automate became FinityX, a deep-tech startup that helps investors implement AI tools as part of their investment process to save time and resources, and improve quality.

While I have been humbled by FinityX’s rapid growth and recognition, as one of the very few women in the deep-tech space I’ve always wanted to be able to access the same capital, business networks, and mentorship readily available to my male cofounder.

So I was thrilled when Google for Startups launched a Growth Academy program tailored specifically for the needs of early-stage women founders. Based on the successful Startup Growth Lab curriculum, the program includes leadership workshops with Israeli VCs such as Entree Capital, Ibex and Viola, leadership sessions with top industry lecturers, and one-on-one Google product mentorship. “Ever since Google for Startups opened Campus Tel Aviv in 2012, diversity and inclusion has been an essential focus to our work,” said Marta Mozes, marketing manager of Google for Startups in Israel. “When we discovered this data about female founders in Israel, we knew we had to be part of the change.”

Meet the other Israeli entrepreneurs, representing industries from family vacation-planning to finance, who joined me at Google for Startups Growth Academy: Women Founders:

  • Miri Berger, Cofounder & CEO of 6Degrees
  • Kerri Kariti, Cofounder & CPO of Claritee
  • Vardit Legali, Cofounder & CEO of Clawdia
  • Ronny Schwartz Dgani, Cofounder & CMO of Expecting.ai
  • Inbal Glantser and Naama Yacobson, Cofounders of Homaze
  • Tamar Liberman, Tal Provizor Narkiss, and Lee Winfield, Cofounders of It’s July
  • Mika Kayt, Founder & CEO of Outgage
  • Danielle Shpigel and Yarden Kaufmann, Cofounders of Unika

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