Google plans to invest heavily in Black-owned tech businesses in Atlanta. The massive company announced it will be dedicating $2.35 million to helping tech startups in the city as part of its Black Founders Fund, BET reported on Wednesday (October 7). Head of Google Startups Jewel Burks Solomon said the funds are Black-owned tech companies impacted by COVID-19 and "locked out of access" to money they need.
“By combining cash awards with Google for Startups mentorship and programming, we hope to help create a more level playing field for these founders, who are building amazing companies and making an impact on their communities," Solomon said in a statement.
Out of the 76 recipient startups, 35 of those businesses are based in Atlanta. The funding totals nearly $100,000 per recipient startup. Google won't be getting any share of the startup companies, as well. Jakita and Erich Thomas are one of the recipients of those funds. The duo received $100,000 for their esports business Pharaoh's Conclave.
“What Google has done is allowed the people on the ground doing the work to be the leads of these different efforts," Erich Thomas said.
In Google's announcement video, many Black entrepreneurs speak on the issues of access to capital and the potential benefits of the tech giant's funding.
"When you invest in Black founders, we not only can build great companies, but we can invest into each other and become great role models," Nate Washington of Qoin said.
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