Black Founders Fund

Team photo.
U.S - Hybrid
6 months

Google for Startups Black Founders Fund: United States provides cash awards — without giving up equity in return — and hands-on support to help Black-led startups in the U.S. build and grow their businesses.

Team photo.
U.S - Hybrid
6 months

Applications are now closed.

About the initiative

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A woman wearing a pink maxi holding mice and speaking something.

About the initiative

Established in 2020, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund helps Black-led companies in Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the United States use AI to solve important problems and grow their companies.

In addition to equity-free cash awards, Founders Fund recipients receive ongoing Google mentorship, Google Cloud credits, and product support to help them navigate every stage of their startup journey and innovate responsibly with AI.

Key benefits

  • Access to capital

    Up to $150,000 in equity-free cash will be awarded to each startup.

  • Google Cloud credits and support

    Receive Google Cloud credits and dedicated support via the Google for Startups Cloud Program.

  • Founder network

    Connect and get support from fellow founders as part of the Google for Startups alumni network.

  • Expert mentorship

    Receive tailored product and AI support from Google mentors and industry experts.

  • Sales & Leadership training

    Become a more effective leader through our best-in-class sales curriculum and executive coaching.

  • Mental health & wellbeing

    Being a founder is tough. Receive therapy that can help you perform at your best.

Core criteria

Core criteria

  • Business must be based in the US, at least one founder must be based in the US
  • Have a full-time founder/cofounder who identifies as Black or Hispanic/Latinx (30% or more of the business must be Black/Latinx-owned at the time of application)
  • Building with AI
  • At least one technical cofounder
  • Post-traction (have existing sales or MAUs)
  • Six months or more of runway
As a Founder in the Google for Startups community, you have a unique opportunity to leverage the collective thinking of Google and your fellow alumni. You also have a special responsibility to respect the culture and share with and support the community.
Mark Peterson
Founder of Ziscuit

Meet the latest cohort

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Interested in learning more about our alumni? Browse our global directory and discover startups across regions and industries.

Learn more

Frequently asked questions

Why is Google for Startups doing this?

We believe that funding Black founders empowers entire communities. Access to capital and support leads to greater economic opportunity. Google is uniquely positioned to provide capital and support to help founders grow their businesses, and in turn, create space for founders to succeed and create greater impact for their community. The goal of the fund is to increase economic opportunity for promising Black startup founders. We hope this funding and support can catalyze the growth of Black-led startups, foster innovative solutions to tough problems, and ultimately generate wealth for these communities.

What does a recipient from the Black Founders Fund receive?

The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund provides founders with $150K in non-dilutive capital to help fuel their businesses. Recipients will also receive up to $100K in Google Cloud credits, hands-on mentorship and support across the company, and access to mental health therapy at no cost.

Is the program in-person or virtual?

The program is hybrid: virtual with in-person opportunities taking place throughout the year.

What types of startups have been historically good candidates for the Google for Startups U.S. Black Founders Fund?

Startups are eligible if they are based in the U.S., have raised less than $5M at the time of application, have a full-time founder/cofounder who identifies as Black (30% or more of the business must be minority-owned at the time of application), are post-revenue, and demonstrate traction (sales, monthly active users, beta sign-ups, revenue).

Do you give feedback on applications?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we do not provide feedback on individual applications.

We have a full-time founder/co-founder that identifies as Black and another full-time founder/co-founder that identifies as Hispanic/Latino. Can we apply to both the Black Founders Fund and Latino Founders Fund?

If you meet the eligibility criteria for both funds, you can apply to both. However, you will only be able to receive funding from one—even if you are accepted into both. You would have to choose which of the two funds to accept. If you are applying to both funds, we recommend that you write out your answers to the application questions in an external document so that you can repurpose your answers because the applications have the same questions.

Where can I learn more?

Watch a recording of the Google for Startups 2023 Founders Funds Ask Me Anything (AMA) Session here. Learn more about previous Latino Founders Fund recipients here and Black Founders Fund recipients here. Read an interview with Latino Founders Fund recipient on the Google Cloud blog here, a feature of multiple Latino Founders Fund recipients on the Google Keyword blog here, and a highlight of the 50 Black Founders Fund recipients on the Google Keyword blog here.