Google for Startups announces applications are now open for $2million (approximately £1.5million) Black Founders Fund for Black-led tech startups across Europe.
With less than 0.25 percent of venture capital (VC) funding going to Black-led startups in the UK, and only 38 Black founders receiving venture capital funding in the last 10 years, Black founders are disproportionately lacking access to the networks and capital needed to grow their businesses.
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund will provide up to $100,000 in non-dilutive cash awards to selected European startups in the Google for Startups network paired with up to $220,000 per startup in Google Ad Grants and Cloud credits.
As we begin to emerge from one of the most globally challenging years in recent history, the startup ecosystem has a defining opportunity to create the blueprint for future business investments and position itself at the forefront of leading equal opportunities for the industry.
Rachael Palmer, Head of VC and Startup Partnerships said: “We’ve seen incredible talent apply to the US Black Founders Fund and the European Black Founders Immersion mentoring programme held last year, which makes us so excited to get to know and work with even more high calibre, Black-led startups from across Europe.
Our hope is that this will be part of a wider commitment to change from the entire startup ecosystem. In the future we want to see more successful Black founders, more Black angel investors, and more Black General Partners at the most successful VC firms. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I am extremely pleased that Google is committed for the long term.”
Marta Krupinska, Head of Google for Startups UK said: “We are in a position where we can help build a more equitable future. One where entrepreneurs are judged solely by the quality of their businesses and all communities benefit from the long-term job creation and generational wealth that they bring.
I would encourage any eligible Black-led tech startup that is curious about how Google for Startups can help them to apply for the Black Founders Fund.”
To be eligible for application, all startups need to have one or more founders that self-identify as Black and the startup must already have a product in the market.
The fund was secured in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement which starkly reminded the world we still have a long way to go before we can say we live in an equitable global society. First launched in the US and now coming to Europe, the fund is part of a $175m long term commitment toward economic opportunity for Black business owners.
Applications for the Black Founders Fund are now open and close on 21 March 2021.