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Expanding support for Underrepresented Founders




Last year, we announced the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders program, for women-led startups in North America. Like our other accelerators, the program was designed to help startups identify and solve technical challenges and grow their business. But this cohort also received tailored programming to address some of the longstanding barriers that women-led startups face. This year, we are thrilled to once again open applications for the program until July 19. 

And as we look ahead to our second year of programming for Canadian startups, we are expanding our commitment to underrepresented founders by introducing the Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders program to North America. Applications are open now until July 9.

Acknowledging barriers  
Founders from diverse communities remain underrepresented in the tech startup ecosystem because they often lack the resources required to launch their business. But the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified structural barriers and disproportionately impacted underrepresented groups. 

Additionally, Black founders face a host of longstanding inequities that create challenges for launching their startups. Research has shown that Black-led businesses lack equitable access to funding, personal development and mentorship opportunities.  

Women founders are often connected at the peer level within their ecosystems, but they too lack access to venture capitalist funding and accelerator programs. A recent report showed women-led startups only received 2.3% of global venture capitalist funding in 2020, and this fell from 2.8% the year before. 

Tailored Programming 
Our two accelerator programs for underrepresented founders aim to support the unique needs of these groups through tailored programming. In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the programs will also include deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development for founders. Participants will also hear from a roster of speakers and facilitators who deliver both technical and nontechnical programming through the lens of their communities.

Helping Founders Succeed 
As we expand our support for the startup ecosystem, we want to continue to create opportunities and bridge the gap for underrepresented founders to succeed. 2021 is the first year the Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders is open to applicants across North America. Applications are open until July 9, and you can apply here. Women-led startups can apply for our second Google for Startup Accelerator: Women Founders here by July 19.  
We are excited to kick-off another round of North American Accelerator programs, and encourage Canadian startups to apply!



source http://canada.googleblog.com/2021/06/expanding-support-for-underrepresented.html

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