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Google shares its $2M Black Founders Fund among 30 European startups – TechCrunch


Google has selected 30 startups to receive a share of its $2 million Black Founders Fund in Europe, providing these companies with a spot of cash, some valuable cloud services, and a bit of good old-fashioned networking among the Google crew.

Last fall, the fund was announced as part of a company-wide effort toward “building a more equitable future for everyone,” alongside grants and new sponsorships. More than 800 companies applied, and Google interviewed 100 of them, ultimately winnowing that down to the 30 announced today.

Each company will receive “up to” $100,000 in non-dilutive funding, up to $120,000 in Ads grants, and $100,000 in Cloud credits. (I’ve asked Google for more details on how the fund was divided and if any company received this total amount. I’ll update you if I hear back.

They’ll also get access to Google’s entrepreneurial network, tech support, and some other assets that don’t have complex numbers associated with them.

All the startups are led by Black founders, and 40% by women of color. One of the latter is Nancy de Fays, co-founder of LINE, making these cool battery-hub combos for the MacBook “Pro” that add a ton of ports and battery life and look sweet to boot. I’ve learned a lot chatting with her at trade shows and regret that I do most of my work on a desktop, so I don’t have an excuse to use one of the company’s gadgets.

In response to being selected for Google funding, de Fays penned a blog post exhorting corporations to throw their weight around in favor of the social change and for startups to lead the way in diversity and equity:

We buy values and standards more than we buy the product itself. We accept ideals of life more than the basic features. Putting these two parameters in the equation – the capability of big corps to shout aloud and consumers’ receptiveness to the brand’s values and messages – makes sense that big companies should voice and convey strong messages to drive such social change messages.

Founders need to build diverse teams without falling into compassion fatigue. They must show empathy and respect and bring onboard the best talents. Period. They need to be outspoken about their values, convey a strong, global mindset and build their organization around them. And if they find themselves scoring low on diversity along the way, they should question themselves on the why and act on it without doing charity.

It’s something of a counterpoint to the idea, also commonly expressed these days, that companies should be mission-focused and objective.

Here are the other 29 companies that Google will be giving a boost to (descriptions taken from the blog post):


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