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Google continues investment in underrepresented founders across the U.S. to foster diversity within startup community

(Seattle) -- July 13, 2023 -- Google for Startups today announced the recipients of its fourth Google for Startups Black Founders Fund and second Latino Founders Fund, which respectively provide promising Black and Latino-led startups non-equity cash awards to help fuel their businesses. Two Washington-based founders are among the recipients, amounting to $300,000 invested in Seattle-area startups.

“In 2020, we launched our first Google for Startups Black Founders Fund to help Black tech entrepreneurs overcome the disproportionate hurdles they face when raising capital,” said Lisa Gevelber, VP of Google for Startups. “Over the past three years, we’ve significantly expanded the scope of our work, expanding our Black Founders Fund to Europe, Africa and Brazil, and providing $45M in cash awards and other support to 547 promising entrepreneurs through our Black and Latino Founders Funds in the US. We are excited to welcome a new group of diverse founders who are using technology to solve some of society's biggest problems.”

The Google for Startups Black and Latino Founders Funds will provide $150,000 cash awards as well as hands-on support to help Black and Latino entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses in the US. In addition to the non-dilutive capital and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, recipients also receive mentorship from Googlers, along with other resources such as sales training, investor prep, mental health coaching, and community offerings at no cost.

Local Civics was awarded funding through the 2023 Google for Startups Black Founders Fund for its innovative approach to advancing students’ civics skills, college preparedness, and career readiness. Based in both Seattle and New York, the startup leverages badge-based learning to drive student engagement and provides school administrators with an intuitive user experience to better track student success and growth.

"It's an honor to be selected for The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund," said Beverly Leon, Founder of Local Civics. "The support will be used to scale our product for K-12 district use and to leverage AI tools to enhance our educator resources."

Zócalo Health, which was awarded funding through the Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, is a modern virtual-first primary care service for Latino communities that takes into account their unique cultural, social, and healthcare needs. Based in Kenmore, Wash. and founded by Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin, Zócalo Health offers two levels of membership - family and individual - bringing affordable healthcare to Latino communities at an affordable rate, without copays, surprise fees, deductibles and available with or without insurance.

"Being accepted into the Google for Startups Latino Founders fund is a tremendous honor for Zócalo Health," said Erik Cardenas, one of the co-founders behind the mission. "This partnership will enable us to amplify our efforts in revolutionizing the primary care experience for Latinos in the U.S. With the generous support (of $150K), we will accelerate the development of innovative solutions that address the unique healthcare, social and mental health needs of our community, ensuring equitable access and culturally competent care for all."


Google for Startups works to level the playing field for startup founders and communities to succeed by bringing the best of Google’s products, connections, and best practices to startups. Paired with a deep commitment to create diverse startup communities, many of our offerings are designed specifically to provide underrepresented founders with access to resources and opportunities. We support startups everywhere to build something better. Because when startups succeed, we all succeed. To learn more, visit Google for Startups.



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