Author Archives: Agnieszka Hryniewicz-Bieniek

Google for Startups: Supporting underrepresented leaders

With 99 unicorns (startups valued at over $1B) and $34.3B of startup funding just last year, it’s clear that Europe is filled with talented entrepreneurs who can help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. This autumn, Google for Startups welcomes two new cohorts of Black and Women founders from across Europe and Israel who are driving change in their industries. 

The founders of these 23 high-potential companies will spend 12 weeks in one of two Immersions: Black Founders or Women Founders, where they’ll have access to the best of Google’s people, products and connections.

If we want technology to work for everyone, it needs to be built by everyone—and that's why we're supporting founders from under-represented groups to help with a faster recovery and better technology and tools for all. Matt Brittin
President, Google Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups US and herself a former founder, opened for the Black Founders program

Immersion: Black Founders

The Black Founders Immersion is a 12-week program for high-potential startups with at least one Black founder. The twelve selected startups from the UK, France and the Netherlands will be partnering with experienced Google mentors, specialists and investors to help them grow and give them better access to fundraising opportunities while further advancing their leadership skills.

During the recent opening session, founders had the opportunity to hear from Jewel Burks, Head of Google for Startups US, former Founder & CEO of Partpic, and Managing Partner at Collab Capital.

The 2020 program cohort includes:

Rachael Corson, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Afrocenchix (UK):Vegan beauty brand changing the world of Black hair and beauty by putting the health of their community first.

Christian Facey, Co-Founder & CEO of AudioMob (UK): Enabling game developers to monetize games with non-intrusive audio ads.

Christina Caljé, Co-Founder & CEO of Autheos (NL):Using machine learning to help businesses improve and personalize video content for their consumers.

Tomide Adesanmi, Co-Founder & CEO of Circuit Mind (UK):Building AI software that designs electronics in minutes or even seconds.

Osamudiamen Omoigiade, Co-Founder & CEO of Deep.Meta (UK):Software harnessing production data to create products, limit wastage and cut CO2 emissions.

Shirley Billot, Founder & CEO of Kadalys (FR):Upcycling banana agri-waste into patented organic skincare that gives back to the local community and nature.

Jermaine Craig, Co-Founder & CEO of Kwanda (UK):A solution for nonprofits to finance the development of Black communities with accountability and transparency.

Elizabeth Nyeko, Founder & CEO of Modularity Grid (UK): Equipping low carbon electrical energy providers with AI that combines deep learning with bleeding-edge electronics. 

Charles Sekwalor, Co-Founder & CEO of MoveMeBack (UK):Enabling professionals and organizations to discover and access opportunities and talent anywhere, with a focus on Africa. 

Joel Akwenuke, Co-Founder & CEO of NewFade (UK): Direct-to-consumer hair loss solution, solving hair loss for men safely and effectively.

Richard Robinson, Founder & CEO of Robin AI (UK):Using machine learning and human intelligence to automate the reading and editing of legal contracts.

Ivan Beckley, Co-Founder & CEO of Suvera (UK):Creating a virtual healthcare experience that allows doctors to care for patients with long-term conditions with fewer appointments.

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Participants from the 2019 German edition of the Women Founders program

Immersion: Women Founders

This first pan-European Google for Startups cohort follows the success of Women Founders programs in Germany and the UK. Supported by findings of the Female Founders Monitor, which pointed out particular challenges encountered by women founders, this program will support the 11 companies with unparalleled access to Google specialists, products and connections.

The program kicked off on September 7th with an opening talk by Marta Krupinska, Head of Google for Startups UK, and former Co-Founder of Azimo and FreeUp, and a pitch session where all founders had the opportunity to learn more about each others’ businesses and challenges.

Get to know the cohort:

Blanca Vidal, Co-Founder & CMO of Deplace (Spain):Improving the homebuying and -selling experience, making it more transparent, safe and economical.

Lee Butz, Founder & CEO, District Technology (UK/Germany):Empowering workplaces with a digital platform where users can engage with and have access to the latest news, amenities, community features and more.

Nina Julie Lepique, Co-Founder & CEO, Femtasy (Germany): The first platform for sensual audio content for women, taking a mind-first approach to sexuality based on data-driven research.

Francesca Hodgson, Co-Founder & MD, GoodBox (UK):Changing the world of philanthropy by connecting donors with the causes they care about.

Pavlina Zychova, Co-Founder & CEO, MyStay (Czech Republic):Simplifying hotel management and improving guests’ experience with a digital platform that automates all the guest-hotel interactions, from check-in to customer review.

Sarah Henley, Co-Founder & COO, NextUpComedy (UK):Transforming the market of live comedy by bringing acts to a global audience of comedy fans via high-quality apps. 

Kinga Jentetics, Co-Founder & CEO, Publish Drive (Hungary):The best digital publishing platform to publish, market, and manage royalties for ebooks, print, and audiobooks.

Zahra Shah, Co-Founder & CEO, Seers (UK):The UK's leading privacy & consent management platform to help companies protect themselves and become compliant worldwide.

Maria-Liisa Bruckert, Co-Founder & CMO, SQIN (Germany):Beauty tech company changing the world of beauty retail by creating the world’s number 1 beauty community app.

Yael Shemer, Co-Founder & CEO, Tulu (Israel):Setting up smart rooms in apartment buildings that are filled with household and lifestyle products that can be rented by the hour, day or longer. 

Zuzanna Sielicka Kalczyńska, Co-Founder & CEO, Whisbear (Poland):Helping babies sleep healthier and better by introducing smart solutions and innovation to baby sleep aids. 

For updates on these cohorts and for other Google for Startups news (including applications for future programs), connect with us on social media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

New training programs for European and Israeli startups

Starting a successful company is a difficult job for anyone. But because the startup playing field isn’t level, some entrepreneurs have a tougher time than others. Many women and BIPOC founders have comparatively limited access to capital, mentorship, talent and networking opportunities. More than 7 in 8 people working for European startups identify as Caucasian or White, but only 20 percent of founders are women; and 92 percent of funding in 2019 went to all-male teams. Particularly in times of economic downturn like the current crisis, startups facing these challenges could use even more support.

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Founders from the Google for Startups Germany community

Google for Startups aims to empower startups and equip founders with the resources they need to solve today's biggest challenges. Today, we’re announcing three new programs that will help European and Israeli startups access Google’s products and experts to grow their businesses, including two programs for founders from underrepresented groups.


Immersion: Black Founders

This program will pair ten Black founders from Europe and Israel with international Google experts to identify and solve their most pressing technical and business challenges, such as implementing machine learning and improving user experience design. The program will provide connections to venture capital funding and investor networks, and offer workshops focused on fundraising, hiring and sales. Apply here.


Immersion: Women Founders

Applications are open for this mentoring and acceleration program that will offer the 12 participating female founders access to a dedicated Google Advisor, in addition to ongoing weekly workshops and skill-building sessions over the course of 12 weeks. In the words of Charlotte Guzzo, founder of Sano Genetics and a Google for Startups UK Residency alumna, “It's a rare opportunity to work with a world-class team of like-minded entrepreneurs and experts from Google and it can really get you places you would not reach on your own.”

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Google for Startups Accelerator: Cybersecurity in Malaga, Spain, 2019

Google for Startups Accelerator

We’re looking for 10-12 startups from Europe and Israel that are using technology to solve the challenges we face today, whether in healthcare, education, news reporting, remote working, finance, wellness, food delivery, or B2B/B2C services. The participants will have access to three months of intensive remote support from Google, including workshops and mentoring sessions with Google engineers and external experts, giving them access to Google products and technical expertise. You can find more info and applications here.

With these programs, we’re committed to helping underrepresented founders access a wide range of resources and opportunities, especially during this global crisis. You can learn more and apply on our site.

Google for Startups Accelerator empowers AI startups in Europe

With access to the world's largest economy, a growing number of companies valued at a billion dollars, and a tech industry growing five times faster than the rest of the world, startups play a critical role in the future of Europe.

We’ve been working with startups in Europe for many years at our Google for Startups Campuses in the UK, Spain and Poland, as well as through partner organizations in 13 European countries. Startups at our Campuses and in our partner network are drivers of economic growth, having created more than 19,000 jobs and raised $1.7 billion since 2015.

To support startups to do great work, we’re bringing our Google for Startups Acceleratorprogram to Europe. The program is open to startups across Europe and each one will focus on a particular sector—with our current programs supporting startups in cybersecurity, entertainment, and social impact. Our accelerator selects startups focused on AI and, for three months, provides intense support on the teams' biggest challenges. We bring experts from Google and the industry to give these founders mentorship and tailored technical expertise. The program also includes workshops focused on machine learning, product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development for founders.

Our first Google for Startups Accelerator kicked off last month in Malaga, Spain. With a focus on cybersecurity startups, it includes companies like SecureKids, a team working to help parents and teachers keep their children safe when using tablets and mobile devices.

This month at our Google for Startups Campus in Warsaw, we welcome our second Google for Startups Accelerator cohort, made up of top entertainment startups from across Europe. Recent research showed that investment from Asia, USA, and Canada into the Central and Eastern Europe region has doubled since 2015; it is an exciting and fast-growing area now home to 12 companies valued at 1 billion dollars or more.

Also this month we announced the Google for Startups Accelerator: Sustainable Development Goals, focused on social impact startups that are building a healthier and more sustainable future. Startups will be selected based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty, inequality, climate, prosperity, and peace and justice.

We also have plans to further expand across Europe in 2020 to continue to support the continent’s growing startup communities. Want to learn more about Google for Startups Accelerator or apply for future cohorts? Learn more at our website.

A new home for Japan’s startups

Google CEO Sundar Pichai meets Japanese founders from Sansan and Cinnamon

Japan has always been a nation of forward thinkers. From the bullet train and the walkman to the lithium ion battery, Japanese ideas have shaped the modern world—and now a new generation of Japanese entrepreneurs is carrying on that legacy, building businesses around technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning.  

To support these talented founders as they grow and scale globally, we’re opening the doors on a Google for Startups Campus in Tokyo. Joining a worldwide network with locations from London to São Paulo to Seoul, it’s a platform for Japanese startups to develop their ideas, access Google resources, and build connections with like-minded entrepreneurs.  

We’ve been supporting Japanese startups for some time now: Cinnamon uses AI to help businesses work more efficiently and Lily MedTech is working on a device that could better detect breast cancer at an early stage. The new Campus means we’re better able to help many more founders as they take their ventures forward. It’s co-located with our new office in Shibuya, so we can offer Google training, mentoring and tools. And it’ll provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for startups from all backgrounds. Over 37% of our Campus members globally are women—a higher percentage than in most other parts of the startup community, but one we’re working hard to increase every year. 

Starting in 2020, the Tokyo Campus will also be home to a new Google for Startups Accelerator, an intensive three-month boot camp for startups working in AI. The goal of the Accelerator program is to give founders with established products the tools to prepare for the next phase of growth, and ultimately contribute to a stronger Japanese economy. We’re confident the program’s focus on AI and machine learning will advance ways of applying technology to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges—an area where we believe Japan can lead the world. Applications open today.

The launch of a Google for Startups Campus in Tokyo is part of a bigger story, with Japan making technology, digital skills, and AI central to its ambitions for the future. Eighteen years ago, Japan was where we opened the first Google office outside the United States. Today, our team here is much bigger, but we're just as focused on making sure Japan has the digital tools and services it needs. We're helping Japanese businesses adopt cloud computing. We're supporting AI research at academic institutions and universities. And we've committed to train 10 million Japanese workers in digital skills by 2022, through the Grow with Google program we launched earlier this year. 

We’re looking forward to Campus contributing to these efforts, giving Japanese startups the opportunity to make their ideas real—and continue shaping the world like so many of Japan’s entrepreneurs before them.