Tag Archives: Diversity and Inclusion

Porsche Taylor puts women in the driver’s seat

Porsche Taylor’s first time riding a motorcycle alone could have gone better. “That first ride, I had absolutely nothing on right: My helmet was too big, I didn’t own a jacket. I might have had on some baseball gloves; everything was just totally upside-down wrong,” she says. “But I wasn’t afraid, it was exhilarating. It was trying something new, being in control. It was that initial feeling of the freedom of the wind.”

Porsche was one of the participants in the Women Riders World Relay, a relay ride that spanned the globe, beginning in February 2019 in Scotland and ending February 2020 in London. WRWR organizers used Google products like Maps, Sheets and Translate to make sure riders not only had constant, up-to-date access to their routes, but also were able to explore and connect with one another along the way. 

Video showing women riding motorcycles across the world.

“The whole team did phenomenally with the amount of time they had to put together the route and figure out the baton passes,” says Porsche. Google Maps was particularly useful for creating Porsche’s route. She and her fellow riders rode from Sept. 25 to Oct. 14, starting in Maine and heading west across the Canadian border, then down through the Southwest to the Mexican border in Texas. They crossed the country, occasionally riding through snowstorms and dropping temperatures. “When you consider the seasons we were riding through, it was a definite challenge for organizers to find routes that weren’t closed down.” 

While Google Maps could help the riders along their journey, it couldn’t do anything about inclement weather. “I quit about four times,” laughs Porsche. “Riding in the cold is not my favorite thing to do. But it was a positive experience all the way around; I don’t know that I would ride in the freezing cold again, but I would do a ride with those women again for sure. I always say the bonds are built on the ground: You’re going to love the folks you ride with to death or you won’t be so cool, and I’m happy to say I love those ladies to death.”

Porsche is vocal about the need for more representation for women in the motor sports community, and she says that things like social media visibility and technical tools like Google Hangouts have helped women who may have felt alone in their shared passion find each other. This idea is in part what inspired her to found Black Girls Ride, a magazine and community originally launched as a place for women of color who ride, which has since grown to include all women. What inspired her to launch Black Girls Ride was the lack of representation she saw when she first started riding—especially in long-distance riding. Traditionally, women filled support roles during these cross-country expeditions, taking a literal backseat to men. In fact, Porsche’s first experience on a bike was sitting behind a man, on the back of her cousin’s bike. “I didn’t so much like the feeling of being a passenger...but I loved the feeling of riding.” 

Thanks to women like Porsche and the WRWR riders, the world of motor sports is changing. “Women have become fearless and bold enough to take long distance biking trips on their own. We’re witnessing the explosion of the all-female long distance ride, where women take it upon themselves to create rides that cater to them instead of being a subset of an all-male ride. It’s where we get to take our power back.” 

Talking about these rides and seeing women taking them via social media and internet communities are crucial, says Porsche, who also mentions using Google Hangouts to connect with riders across the country. “You’re able to see the growth of female riders; women taking these long distance trips and riding solo have always been there—there are women riding today who have been doing this since the 60s—but social media is now shining a light on them.” 

That increased visibility is part of Porsche's work with Black Girls Ride. “I knew from riding in LA that there were more of us than the community would admit to. There was no representation in mainstream media, even for women who were riding professionally, there was very little to nothing,” Porsche says. Now "women all over the world are connecting to the Black Girls Ride brand. We have readers in London, Nigeria, France, just about every country you can name. I’m motivated by these women.” Black Girls Ride has become more than a publication, hosting trainings, workshops and events. And while both men and women are included, it’s Porsche’s focus to make sure women riders are invited to the table and that they are given the same representation, advertising and sponsorship opportunities. 

Most of all, she just wants women to feel welcome in this world. “It’s always been my goal to create safe spaces for women to ask questions and get the help they need without fear of ridicule,” she says. “And I’m glad I can be a part of creating that.” 

Learn more about the women behind WRWR and how they planned their relay at goo.gle/womenriders.


Source: Google LatLong


Together we rise: a Q&A with Libby VanderPloeg

Women Techmakers is Google’s global program to build visibility, community and resources for women in technology. For Women’s History Month, we’re recognizing the inner qualities that make women stand out—their very own superpowers. To do this, we teamed up with Libby VanderPloeg, whose superpower is the art she creates. She’s the mastermind behind multiple viral gifs emphasizing the power of women, collaboration and civic engagement

We sat down with her to talk about the evolution of her craft, her work with the Women Techmakers team, and her illustrations that encourage women to rise up together. 

You’ve created art that resonates with  many people and movements. Which of your designs makes you the most proud?
It’s definitely “Lift Each Other Up,” first shared in 2016 on International Women’s Day. It’s been shared for the past four years, especially lighting up the internet on its birthday, March 8. It’s given people hope and inspired women to work together and help each other out when they can. I’m proud of how much it communicates in just a few seconds, and how that message has resonated so deeply all over the world.


How would you describe your design style?
Colorful, relatable, energizing, funny and hopeful.


A lot of your art is digital. Has that always been the case?
I never liked computers, growing up into my early twenties, because I didn’t know how to use them as part of my art practice. I was a painter, period. But once I started playing around with technology, I started to fall in love with it. First I got the wacom tablet, which took some time to master. And then I started doing most of my drawing in Illustrator, learning more about how to bring a natural touch to vector art. Now I use a mix of Procreate, Illustrator, and Photoshop. It’s so fun to work digitally because you can play with your artwork in infinite ways, like changing the color palette or adding a little bit of animation, a skill that I’ve been working on for about ten years. I’m not a master animator, but excited to always learn new tricks. I just started learning how to use After Effects and it’s so much fun! 

What advice do you have for women starting out in their careers?
Know that you are capable of more than you can imagine. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being asked to do something you don’t know how to do. When you accept new challenges, it can be very nerve wracking, but the payoff of growth makes it so worthwhile.


What does it mean to you to have your work highlighted by Women Techmakers?
It's really exciting that, through my artwork, I can be a part of the effort to get more women into tech. For a long time, I thought of myself as simply an artist, and took for granted the other strengths that I was honing along the way. I’m my own IT and production department, and am constantly communicating with my clients to help them achieve their goals through art, yes—but art with a technological edge. So on top of being visually creative, I’m technologically creative, and whenever I can solve problems, I feel like somewhat of a superhero! So these Women Techmakers are an ode to all of the women out there who have the vision to make the world more connected and empathetic. I want them to know what inspiring superheroes they all are.

Know that you are capable of more than you can imagine.

What’s your superpower?
This is one that fellow designers will appreciate: I can deliver designs in multiple sizes and file formats without batting an eye or breaking a sweat :) 


Who are the superwomen who have inspired you?
My mom has been a huge source of inspiration, her superpower being relentless hope. She’s an incredibly hard worker with a positive outlook, and has always inspired me to chase after my dreams. And my dear friend, Marisa Ponitch, whose superpower is making doing the right thing look cool. She is one of the most creative people I know, using her voice and vision to teach people about waste in the textile industry and give them fun and engaging ways to reduce their consumption. 

Don’t miss Libby’s work featured on the Women Techmakers page. If you’re interested in learning more and getting involved with Women Techmakers, check out our website and sign up to become a member.

Photo credit for headshot of Libby: Leigh Ann Cobb Photography

Sandeep Ahuja is comfortable confronting convention

In 2018, women received only 2.2 percent of all venture capital funding. Women Techmakers, Google’s program to build visibility, community and resources for women in technology, is committed to changing this narrative. Founded is a new web series that shares the stories of women founders using tech to solve some of the world’s challenges. For our first season, we’re taking our viewers to Atlanta, home of one of the largest technology hubs in the U.S., to highlight the stories of four women of color entrepreneurs.

Today, we’re releasing our second episode, an interview with Sandeep Ahuja. Sandeep is the co-founder of cove.tool, a software platform that helps architects and engineers model energy efficient buildings. We had the chance to talk to the Atlanta-based entrepreneur about her international upbringing, how she creates community for women in tech and how it felt to make Forbes “30 Under 30” list. 

Can you explain what cove.tool is to someone who’s not in tech?

Buildings contribute to 40 percent of total carbon emissions, and while developers and owners don’t mind doing the “right thing” for the planet, no one has unlimited budgets to spend on green building design. We still have to make things affordable and that’s exactly what cove.tool’s smart optimization does. We want to make it easier to build sustainable and green energy efficient buildings.

What originally inspired your interest in fighting climate change?

As a daughter of a diplomat, I traveled the world seeing the remarkable homogeneity of buildings in climates as diverse as Riyadh and Moscow. Given the outsized contribution buildings make to climate change, I was deeply troubled by the lack of architectural response. I wanted to disrupt this idea, and for me, given that I moved to a different country every four years, I’ve always felt comfortable with change and with confronting entrenched beliefs.  For me, there was no such thing as conforming to conventions. 

What was it like to be named to the Forbes “30 under 30” list? 

It’s both exciting and humbling; so many people reached out to express support and congratulations. It was exciting to see so many  strong women on the list, as well as so many immigrants, including myself! 

Cove.tool is meant to help architecture and engineering professionals fight climate change, but how can everyone else help? 

Getting politically active and pushing business and political leaders to take action is the key. Multinational corporations, investment firms and government regulations account for the vast majority of emissions. A good place to start in America is to join grassroots efforts like Citizens Climate Lobby, a bi-partisan organization tackling climate change. Collaborating with them is a great way to organize, volunteer and raise awareness. Writing letters to your local representative, congressperson and voting for fighting climate change candidates also makes a big difference. 

Why do you think it’s important for women in the entrepreneur and tech worlds to create community? 

Being a data driven person, the data clearly answers the "why.” Women only receive 2 percent of VC funding and make up only 11 percent of leadership in tech; this is creating a world of systematic bias. This needs to change and the change can start with me, you and everyone else. I drive change by making sure that cove.tool maintains a strong gender and diversity ratio and that we put  women in leadership roles. Our first non-founder team member was a woman, and the second was a woman, too, and they weren’t hired for any other reason aside from the fact that they deserved those roles and had the best skillsets. I also volunteer, coach and hopefully inspire other women founders and architects.

Anna Vainer knows what makes her remarkable

Even as a teenager, Anna Vainer knew what she wanted. “I remember, at 14, telling my sister ‘I’m going to be working in marketing,’” she says, smiling. “I don’t know how I knew that.” She was right: Anna is the head of B2B Growth Marketing for Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and runs the regional team for Think with Google, a destination for marketing trends and insights. Anna says she’s truly driven by working with people, and it’s her other role as the co-founder of #IamRemarkable where she truly gets to flex this skill. 

#IamRemarkable is an initiative that empowers women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. The goal is to challenge the social perception that surrounds self promotion, an issue that not only affects individuals, but also hinders progress when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

#IamRemarkable also has a workshop component, which to date has reached more than 100,000 participants in more than 100 countries with the help of 5,000 facilitators; many participants credit the workshop with helping them make real, positive career and personal growth. 

The idea for #IamRemarkable came to Anna during a training that asked women to write down and read lists of their accomplishments. She was shocked by her own reaction. “I remember sitting there, looking at the women reading their achievements and I was thinking to myself, ‘wow, why do they brag? Why do they have to show off?’” she says. “And then it started to hit me that there was something wrong with this feeling. They were asked to stand in front of the room and talk about their achievements; that was the exercise.” Today, Anna helps others learn to acknowledge and announce what makes them great—while also making sure to practice what she preaches. 

What was your career path to Google?

At university, I studied economics and management and then I kind of rolled into doing an internship at a pharmaceutical company working as an economist. I told myself, “you know what, I studied economics, let’s see what it means to be an actual economist,” but soon enough I realized this was not going to be my preferable field of professional engagement. Shortly after that, I applied for an internship at Google and got it, and that was it. I’ve been at Google for nearly 10 years. 

In a parallel universe, what’s a different career you would have pursued? 

I would love to run a boutique hotel in the countryside of Israel, where I grew up. I think about my grandparent's summer house in Minsk, Belarus and the amazing summers we spent as a family in the countryside every summer until we moved to Israel. And running a hotel means I could create this experience for travellers from all over the world in one place. 

How did #IamRemarkable first get started?

After that training where I felt like the women reading their achievements out loud were bragging, I talked to a colleague of mine, Anna Zapesochini, who had the same feeling when she took the course. She told me we should make a video about the process people go through during this exercise. I went to my previous manager, Riki Drori, and said, “I need to make this video, we have a really great idea to help women overcome their confidence gaps and their modesty gaps.” She said, “I’m going to give you the budget for the video, but if this is as important as you say it is, how are you actually going to bring it to every woman on the planet?” That question led to so many ideas. Soon after that conversation, Anna [Zapesochini] and I, with a ton of support from my managers Janusz Moneta and Yonca Dervişoğlu, founded the #IamRemarkable initiative, at the heart of which lies a 90-minute workshop aimed at empowering women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements and break modesty norms and glass ceilings. 

The original #IamRemarkable video that Anna requested the budget to make.

The original #IamRemarkable video that Anna requested the budget to make.

What’s your favorite part of the workshop?

After we ask people to fill out a whole page with statements about what makes them remarkable, we ask them to read it out loud. And the moment you ask them to read it out loud you hear “hhhuuuuhhh!”—like the air is sucked out of the room. That’s definitely my favorite part. 

Have any of them in particular really stuck with you? 

One of the most memorable ones was in the past year at Web Summit in Lisbon. It was my first week back from maternity leave and we ran a workshop for 250 people. The room was packed, people were sitting on the floor. After we asked people to read their lists of what makes them remarkable in their small groups, we invited 10 brave people to stand on stage and read one of their statements out loud, and everybody wept. It was such a high level of intimacy for such a large room, I was astonished. 

My baby and husband were actually at that workshop, which was so great. It made me think of the future generation and how I want the workplace to be for my daughter, and I think we’ve made really good steps in the past couple of years. #IamRemarkable is creating really great tools for people. 


Without putting you on the spot, what are some things that make you remarkable?

Professionally, there are a few achievements I’m proud of. The first is that I created #IamRemarkable; another is that I started a campaign similar to Black Friday in Israel to drive e-commerce in the country. And personally, I’m remarkable because I was part of the Israeli national synchronized swimming team. You won’t see me in the pool with a nose clip now, but I did that for seven years. 

What’s one piece of advice you have for women who struggle with self-promotion? 

The piece of homework we give to people after the workshop is write down your three top achievements from the past month or past period, and practice saying them in front of the mirror. Then practice saying them to a friend or colleague who you trust. Then, put down time down with your manager to go through that list. 

The most recent I Am Remarkable video featuring Anna.

With today’s overload of data—whether it’s email, ads, whatever—you can’t assume people see and understand what you’ve worked on. The ability to talk about your personal contribution is critical, and many times, women specifically use team-based language; “we” as opposed to “I.” Learning to use self-promoting language is important as well. Practice, practice, practice. It’s like flexing a muscle; it’s going to feel awkward the first time, and even maybe the third time—but the tenth time, it will feel natural. 

Was there a time in your life when you could have benefit from these skills? 

To be honest, to this day I still have those moments where I need to practice those skills. I don’t think it’s that you just learn it and then you’re amazing at it. But it definitely would have benefit me earlier in my career, and during school as well. It’s really important to learn from a young age to talk about achievements in an objective way. You see this in the workshop, where people look at their full page and see their lives unfold, all of their achievements on the page, and suddenly it fills them up with so much pride; it gives you this sense of ability and confidence that you can achieve anything. The original video we made with that scrappy budget ends with a woman saying, “I wonder what else I can do.” I think that’s a pretty important feeling to have at any stage of your life. 


Career development for journalists-turned-parents in Korea

Managing work and home life is never an easy task, and parents around the world would agree that it doesn’t get any simpler with children. Now couple that with a career in journalism: if parenting is a full-time job, the news never stops either.


For reporters in Korea, the pursuit of worabael, or "work-life balance," means making a difficult choice between advancing their careers and spending time with their families. Taking parental leave can be a major career setback—so parents working in the news industry either don’t take leave, or suffer the consequences when they do. It’s a situation that disproportionately affects women, even as thenumber of female reporters in Korean newsrooms grows. 


To help overcome these barriers, the Google News Initiative (GNI) has partnered with the Journalists Association of Korea and HeyJoyce—Korea’s largest community for women—to create a leadership program that supports reporters’ career development while on parental leave, so they’re ready to return after a period away. The 10-week curriculum aims to develop the journalists’ understanding of newsroom operations and how to introduce new technologies and business models, with instruction and mentoring from senior editors and academics. 


What’s different is that all the participants are invited to bring their children along. While the first cohort of 18 journalists attend sessions, they don’t have to worry about childcare. Professionals from JARANDA—a childcare-matching platform led by Seojung Chang, a member of Google’s 2017 Campus for Moms initiative in Seoul—look after the kids. And catering company Unor, founded by a mother-daughter team, provides the food.

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Korean startups provide child-minding and food for journalists taking part in the courses.

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The classes help new parents keep up their skills and learn how to lead through change in the news industry.

The program aims to show a different, more positive approach to work-life balance in Korea. 


Naree Lee, the CEO of HeyJoyce, knows how critical this kind of support for new parents can be. “I worked for 20 years as a journalist and experienced serious difficulties keeping up with work and caring for my children at the same time; I considered quitting every day. I was also anxious about falling behind my colleagues in such an intensely competitive environment,” she said. “Programs like these will help build concrete skills, so the participants won’t have to go through what I did.”


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“Throughout the decade I spent working at a newspaper, I had many concerns about the future of journalism,” said Sewon Yim, a reporter from the Seoul Economic Daily. “Through this program, we were able to express our worries and share possible solutions.”

The pilot program in Korea will conclude this spring and, together with our partners, we plan to expand it to returning parents in newsrooms across Asia-Pacific.

An innovation challenge to sustain diverse media

Most communities in North America are diverse. They are comprised of people of various ethnicities, income levels, and countries of origin. In a lot of cases these diverse audiences are not effectively represented in the pages of their local news publication or remain untapped as an opportunity to increase engagement and grow the business for a news organization. That’s why it's increasingly important for publishers to understand the diverse communities they serve. 


We hope this is where the Google Innovation Challenge can help. Last year, the GNI North American Innovation Challenge focused on generating revenue and increasing audience engagement for local journalism. 34 projects in 17 states and provinces received $5.8 million to help with projects ranging from a way for local news providers to access and monetize audio clips, to testing a new approach to local news discovery, engagement and membership.


This year the spotlight will shift toward helping publishers understand their audiences so that they can build a sustainable business. Through our work with the Borealis Racial Equity in Journalism Fund we know that communities with the least access to relevant news are also most likely to be left out of policy creation and civic processes. A diverse and ethnic media is a critical news source for underrepresented groups, filling gaps for stories that don’t rise to mainstream media, and providing a positive and authentic representation of their cultures. It's important that publishers who cover underrepresented audiences continue to thrive as the world becomes increasingly digital. 


How this challenge works:


The North American GNI Innovation Challenge will provide funding for projects that have a clear focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in journalism, promote the creation of sustainable models for local media that address diverse audiences, and recognize that as an opportunity for driving engagement and revenue.


We’re looking for a breadth of projects, and examples might include using technology to understand the business impact of overlooking certain audiences, designing strategies to improve discovery of local and diverse content, or diversifying revenue streams. Please join us on March 18th at 9a.m. PST for town hall where we will answer your questions. You can tune in using this link.


How to apply: 

Applications open today, and the deadline to submit is May 12th, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PT.  Over the next 10 weeks we’ll hold workshops and bootcamps to get the word out and answer questions about the Innovation Challenge. You can also get in contact with us at [email protected]


We’re looking forward to seeing what creative ideas you come up with.

Celebrate digital learning with tools for everyone

One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting on my dad’s lap and using a program on our old desktop computer to learn multiplication tables. It jump-started my love for math and science and showed me how technology could make learning exciting.

Educational tools have only improved over the years since I first experienced them. Thanks to educator feedback and companies building tools to help solve real problems in classrooms, they’re better than ever. Today, Feb. 27, thousands of educators across the world are celebrating the use of technology in the classroom by participating in Digital Learning Day. Whether in the classroom or at home, technology can help provide access, increase engagement and help educators and students open up new possibilities for learning. This technology has also helped many students learn the basic digital skills needed for work and life. 

As part of our Grow With Google initiative--which helps ensure opportunities created by technology are available to everyone--Applied Digital Skills has curated a collection of our most popular lessons, which include everything from creating a resume to understanding your digital footprint. Applied Digital Skills is Google’s free, online, video-based curriculum that provides training on basic digital skills for learners of all ages. To date, this resource has helped over 1 million students learn digital skills and empowered thousands of educators to teach them in a fun and engaging way. 

It’s important to make sure everyone has access to these skills, and community leaders are making sure this happens. Valamere Mikler is the founder of She Ran Tech, a community initiative that encourages digital proficiency and empowerment for women and girls from underserved areas. “Our focus is on data privacy and technology, particularly with girls and young women to educate them on the alternatives to social media trolling, oversharing, idle web surfing and so on,” says Mikler. She’s incorporated Applied Digital Skills lessons into her organization’s internship, as well as its workshops and recommended resources. “We want to get them into technology,” she says. “We are fighting for equity here and this initiative is a way to empower them.” 

Valamere and I know firsthand the positive impact technology can have on learning experiences. Dive into our new collection of Digital Learning Day lessons to get started yourself, and use the momentum to embrace educational technology all year round.


How we help Black-owned businesses grow their digital skills

Born on a cotton plantation in Louisiana in 1867, Sarah Breedlove faced many challenges as she sought to work her way out of poverty during a time of intense racial discrimination. Like many Black Americans, Sarah, who would later be known as Madam C.J. Walker, turned to entrepreneurship as a way to create her own opportunity and started a hair care line in 1906. She eventually grew that company into a hair and cosmetics empire, becoming the first Black female millionaire in the United States.

Today the number of Black-owned businesses is on the rise in the U.S., with Black women fueling much of that growth. Even so, Black entrepreneurs still face obstacles, including a lack of access to funding and digital tools. 

Google is committed to creating greater access to opportunities for these business owners. Last year, Google.org pledged$10 million to help underrepresented entrepreneurs start new businesses by providing access to training and capital. And we recently announced the Google for Startups Founders Academy, which will support underrepresented startup founders in Atlanta on topics such as sales, strategy, hiring and fundraising.

We’ve been working in communities across the country to provide free in-person workshops through our Grow with Google Digital Coaches program, which aims to help Black and Latino business owners become more digitally savvy and reach customers online. Since the program’s launch in 2017, our digital coaches have trained tens of thousands of business owners in cities across the country. 

One of those cities is Washington, D.C., which has long been home to a vibrant Black entrepreneurial community. Our local digital coach, Johnny Bailey, has trained thousands of local entrepreneurs,  including Sherika Wynter and Shallon Thomas, co-founders of T|W Lunch Tote, a startup that creates stylish and professional lunch bags. They knew that plenty of people were tired of carrying their lunches in paper or plastic bags, but struggled to find their customers. 

After attending Grow with Google workshops led by Johnny, Sherika and Shallon learned more effective ways to use online tools like Google Ads, Analytics and G Suite, and put that knowledge to work. Since then, their sales have grown by 55 percent and now they face a new challenge: keeping up with orders.

As we celebrate Black History Month, Grow with Google is hosting a Black Small Business Meetup in D.C. today, where we’ll be training entrepreneurs on how to use digital tools and hearing from Johnny and Sherika about how they grew their business. You can join us by tuning into the livestream or learn more about Digital Coaches.

We look forward to continuing to support business owners like Sherika and Shallon, who carry on the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker, and the many other entrepreneurs who came before them.


Upholding the legacy of Black entrepreneurship in Atlanta

February is Black History Month across the U.S., but here in Atlanta, Black history is everywhere, year-round. Atlanta is the number one city for Black prosperity, and the country’s fourth-largest tech hub. As more than a quarter of Atlanta's tech workers are Black, it’s clear that our city’s startup scene is just the latest iteration of a long legacy of Black entrepreneurship. There's a spirit in the city that inspired the entrepreneurs of the past, and continues to attract tech talent today.

I was one of those entrepreneurs. When I founded my own startup, Partpic, I decided to do it not in Silicon Valley, where I had started my career, but in Atlanta. Partpic was acquired in 2016, but I opted to stay in Atlanta and continue to grow my roots in the tech and business community. It’s home now. In my new role as U.S. Head of Google for Startups, I’ll lead our continued support of Atlanta’s Black founders, beginning with a few exciting efforts:

Russell Center for Innovation

Along with our friends at Grow with Google, we’re partnering with the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), an organization that helps black entrepreneurs and local business owners build, grow and create jobs. Our support will include mentorship, scholarships and funding three RCIE fellowships designed to help students learn and practice business firsthand. 

Collab Studio

Collab Studio—a resource center providing Black founders a safe space to learn and forge community in Atlanta—has joined the Google for Startups partner network. Our funding will help Collab Studio facilitate connections and technical resources so that 20 Black founders can prepare their businesses for the next stage of growth.

Atlanta Founders Academy

The Atlanta Founders Academy, modeled off last year's pop-up at our Atlanta offices, is coming this spring. Throughout the year, we’ll host a series of hands-on programs from Googlers, experts, and investors to support underrepresented Atlanta startup founders on topics such as sales, strategy, hiring and fundraising. Spearheading these efforts will be Googler and newly-minted Atlanta Advisor-in-Residence, Michelle Green, who has been helping Fortune 500 companies grow their business for more than a decade. Learn more about how to get involved in the Atlanta Founders Academy in this form.

As a Black woman, entrepreneur and Googler, I'm proud to be a part of the living, breathing history of Atlanta. Google’s focus on providing equitable access to information, networks, and capital for underrepresented startups speaks to a larger theme in tech and innovation today: Great ideas and startups can come from anywhere and anyone, and you don’t have to be based in Silicon Valley to be successful. We have an opportunity to highlight the work of startups here in Atlanta and in other regions that have been under-resourced for too long—and the great privilege of supporting Black founders and future history-makers.