Tag Archives: Entrepreneurs

Founded: A new podcast focuses on women who lead

When women-led businesses are supported, funded and have the opportunity to scale, the economy grows. We recently supported a research report on women entrepreneurs in the U.S. from Endeavor Insight which showed that in 2017, more than 1.1 million women-led businesses generated nearly $1.5 billion in revenue and created more than 10 million jobs. 

The report goes on to highlight that if businesses founded by women grow to employ 50 or more people, they can potentially generate over 4 million new jobs and add over $500 billion in additional productivity each year to national GDP. Despite this, many industries, including the technology sector,  still continue to face significant gaps in gender parity. In 2019, only 2.8 percent of all VC funding went to women tech founders. 

Women founders deserve visibility and recognition, which is why Women Techmakers and Google for Startups joined forces to create a new podcast series called Founded. The podcast, built upon the original Founded video series, interviews women tech founders from across the globe. 

Cofounded and hosted by Rana Abdelhamid, each episode will highlight women whose passion and drive led them to grow and scale successful businesses. Their companies are tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues, solving challenges from improving medical diagnosis with AI to using technology to help make learning tools more inclusive.

Founded is not just about their businesses, but the women behind them. 

Our launch series includes six inspiring founders:

To find out more about these women and hear their stories be sure to subscribe and listen to theFounded podcast, out now.

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.

Support for women’s entrepreneurship in the U.S. and Canada

In a time of so much financial uncertainty, one thing is clear: when more women build their own businesses, economies grow. In 2017 alone, more than 1.1 million women-led businesses generated nearly $1.5 billion in revenue and created more than 10 million jobs across the United States.

Despite this rapid growth and enormous potential, women-led companies across the US and Canada face disproportionate challenges when it comes to scaling and expansion. There are nearly three times more men-owned companies that employ 50 or more people compared to companies that are owned by women—and among the small group of women-owned businesses that do reach this size, the founders are disproportionately white women. In Canada, data showed that companies with under 20 employees have been the hardest hit during the current pandemic and, as women are more likely to own newer and smaller businesses, the impact on women founders is more significant than their male counterparts.

To learn more about the current state of women’s entrepreneurship—and identify how we can level the playing field for success for female founders of all backgrounds—Google for Startups teamed up with Endeavor Insight for the 2020 Women in Entrepreneurship Report. Intended to offer practical steps on how to better support women founders, this research included interviews and surveys of more than 1,000 business leaders, conversations with organizations that support women, a review of existing entrepreneurship studies, and analyses of national data. The report also reveals the potential economic and social benefits that could be gained if women were to achieve gender equality in entrepreneurship. Here are two of the report’s key findings:

  • Closing wage and wealth gaps. If more women founders could grow their companies to 50 or more employees, it would have a tangible effect on closing the wage and wealth gaps that exist between women and men—and a major effect on the overall economy.
  • Mentorship is key. Strong networks and mentorship from entrepreneurs who have previously scaled companies is one of the clearest differences between women who scaled their businesses and those who did not.

In addition to the research, Google is committed to support and develop women founders and, following our successful launches for accelerator programs for Black founders and Canadian founders,  in June we announced the first Google for Startups Accelerator for Women Founders, a three-month virtual program for seed to Series A technology startups based in the U.S. and Canada. The accelerator, set to start this September, is designed to bring the best of Google's programs, products, people and technology to women-led tech startups across the region. After receiving almost 1,000 applications, we’re thrilled to welcome the inaugural cohort of women entrepreneurs tackling complex problems across the continent, including:

  • Coconut Software (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) provides customer engagement solutions that modernize how banks and credit unions engage, creating a streamlined experience for both staff and customers.
  • COI Energy (Tampa, Florida) brings together utilities and businesses to detect and eliminate energy waste in buildings to optimize the electric grid—creating a climate-friendly economy.
  • CultivatePeople's (Arlington, Virginia) compensation software,Kamsa, provides global market compensation data and helps companies make data-driven pay decisions, helping eliminate pay gaps.
  • CurieAI (Santa Clara, California) transforms care for respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD through AI-based models that help physicians understand respiratory health, disease progression, and treatment effectiveness at an individualized and population level.
  • Fairygodboss (New York City, New York) is the largest career community for women in the U.S. It provides free resources like career connections, job listings, virtual recruiting events, community advice, and the hard-to-find information about how companies treat women.
  • Heirlume (Hamilton, Ontario) makes trademark registration as easy and accessible as domain registration by providing the first self-serve professional-quality trademark search and application platform.
  • Kapwing (San Francisco, California) enables digital storytelling for creative teams and professionals via an online image, video, and GIF editing platform.
  • Livestock Water Recycling (Calgary, Alberta) uses its machine learning-enabled nutrient recovery technology (PLANT) and myPLANT data dashboard to digitize food producers’ waste outputs, allowing reduced expenses and environmental impact.
  • My Intelligent Machines [MIMs] (Montreal, Quebec) helps life science companies use their big data and AI to maximize food and drug production.
  • Possip (Nashville, Tennessee) empowers schools and districts to quickly and routinely hear from their community of families and staff via text message-based pulse checks in over 100 languages.
  • Wisy (San Francisco, California) develops technology to bring digital efficiency into the physical world, supporting consumer products businesses and making them thrive in the new economy.
  • Zennea Technologies (Vancouver, BC) aims to be the first clinically-proven medical device for chronic snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.

In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the accelerator also includes talks and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition and leadership development for founders. And to help build lasting professional networks, the cohort will have access to Google executives and successful entrepreneurs like Alison Wagonfeld, Chief Marketing Officer of Google Cloud, and Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi.

Supporting women entrepreneurs isn’t just the right thing to do; it is an opportunity to fuel the economy when it needs it most. Google for Startups is proud to support female founders by connecting them with the best of Google’s people, products and programming. We encourage investors, organizations and decision-makers to follow suit by reading up on how you can best support women entrepreneurs in your communities. Because when women win, we all win.

CEO Hana Hassan refuses to be ignored

Hana Hassan Women Techmakers

If you’re friends with Hana Hassan, you might know her by another name: Dope’rah (yes, it’s a combination of “dope” and “Oprah”). She was given the nickname because, as she puts it, she does her best to make sure “people feel seen and heard.” One way she does that is through her role as an ambassador for Women Techmakers, a Google group committed to providing resources, visibility and community to women in tech, in her town of Waterloo, Canada. “I’m focused on enabling diversity, inclusion and belonging.”

Hana is also the founder of Blackmaple.io. Blackmaple.io helps people gain access to equitable employment and networking opportunities, as well as supports tech companies that want to diversify their hiring and develop inclusive frameworks. 

I recently had the chance to talk to Hana about this work, and why she feels it’s important to bridge the tech industry’s gender gap.

What impact has Women Techmakers had on you?

Seeing the various ways other Ambassadors around the world are tackling equality in tech has equipped me with so much insight and knowledge. It’s also provided me with a community of women in Waterloo that’s helped me navigate the tech scene here.

Kitchener-Waterloo is Canada’s top startup ecosystem, and home to Google Canada. Running a Women Techmakers chapter here allows us to provide visibility, community and resources for women in technology here. We want to make sure there’s gender equity in this booming tech ecosystem by supporting and celebrating the diverse women-identified techmakers here. 

What problem are you hoping to solve with Blackmaple.io?

I founded Blackmaple.io five years ago to support tech companies in diversifying their talent pipeline and give them resources for becoming more inclusive. As a two-sided marketplace—meaning that our platform is for companies hiring as well as people looking for jobs—our talent platform helps people gain access to equitable employment opportunities and community, as well as address many challenges of diversity in tech. 

Right now, our talent platform, which is available to those looking for work, is in closed beta. But the goal is to  streamline the recruitment process and remove some of the barriers of entry to employment. 

I also want to help tech companies gain competitive advantages through their workforce by understanding the value of employees as people first. With a diversity lens, I want to help pair the best tech companies with the most talented people across the globe.

What career obstacles did you have to overcome?

There’s a  Nelson Mandela quote, "lead from the back and let others believe they are in front," that resonated with me when I founded Blackmaple.io. I was often referred to as a "CEO of one," which was dismissive, and to which I always responded, "but a champion of many."

Because I am one of the few women of color in the space, I often encounter and have had to overcome assumptions about me. People are surprised when they learn about my ability to build and solve things, the positions I hold, the spaces I take up and the people in my network. 

What advice do you have for other women who want to start tech companies? 

Trust your abilities, find your community and don’t give up, because what is meant for you will come to you.

What do you think are the barriers that exist in tech for women of color?

Access to resources and opportunities is definitely an issue, specifically for women of color. 

These barriers persist because there’s a lack of representation in leadership. You can only solve for what you know so having a diverse leadership team is key. 

Google's Black Founders fund is an example of moving in the right direction, especially given its global reach and impact. There’s also the Generation Google Scholarship, Google Lime Scholarship and Women Techmakers Scholars programs that drive equitable educational opportunities for underrepresented groups by removing some financial burdens. These are all opportunities I uplift so other underrepresented groups may learn more about them and apply.

What else would you like to share about being a woman in tech?

In Somali, we say: “Buundada waxaa la hagaajiyaa oo keliya kadib marka qof ku dhaco biyaha,” which means “the bridge is repaired only after someone falls into the water.”

2020 has been a year of firsts and “yet agains,” sadly. As a Black woman in tech, I’m expected to be the subject matter expert, I’m expected to be co-signed, I’m expected to justify the space I take up, I’m expected to explain myself, I’m expected to prove myself. 

I build, drive and make change as well as celebrate all humans, everyday, in an industry not designed for us, but rather that’s adjusting to us.

Thankfully, though, I am one of many—and the industry is starting to notice. 

Support for Southeast Asian startups tackling big challenges

Southeast Asia’s startups have helped build a thriving internet economy. Now, they have an equally important role to play in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic—and in tackling some of the biggest challenges Southeast Asia faces around education, health, e-commerce, logistics and financial technology.


In June, we launched Google for Startups Accelerator: Southeast Asia, a three-month online program to support startups working on social, economic and health problems across the region. We received more than 600 applications, and today we’re announcing the 15 startups chosen for the first cohort.
SEA Startup Accelerator cohort logos

Over the next few months, these startups will receive mentorship on both technical and business challenges. We’ll also connect them to teams from Google and the wider technology industry, and provide workshops focused on designing products, customer service and leadership development for founders.


Here’s the full list of startups. We can’t wait to help them move their ideas forward as they make a difference for Southeast Asians over the next decade and beyond.


  • Advance (Philippines) is a credit platform that provides short-term salary advances for Filipino employees.

  • DeafTawk (Pakistan) has created a digital sign language interpretation service platform that breaks down communication barriers.

  • GIZTIX (Thailand) is an integrated logistics platform that helps customers grow their businesses and reduce operating costs.

  • Hacktiv8 (Indonesia) helps train beginner developers, supports them in finding jobs and provides a new, fairer type of student loan.  

  • Kata.ai (Indonesia) has developed a conversational artificial intelligence platform that enables more natural conversations between businesses and their customers.

  • MHub (Malaysia) is an end-to-end property transaction platform which makes the process of buying a home easier by linking property developers, real-estate agents and potential customers.  

  • Riliv (Indonesia) has created an online counseling and meditation app to help people with their mental health.  

  • Rumarocket (Philippines) has developed an AI tool that helps companies make hiring decisions using behavioral science.

  • Sehat Kahani (Pakistan) is working on providing access to affordable, technology-enabled healthcare via a network of qualified home-based women doctors.

  • SenzeHub (Singapore) offers a wearable, AI-powered device that determines a patient's location and does vitals reading and crisis detection. 

  • Shoplinks (Singapore) provides consumer-goods clients with tools to digitize their customer engagements and promotions.

  • Smartfuture (Singapore) is a telemedicine platform and self-monitoring diagnostic kiosk that allows users to check key health vitals

  • Thuocsi.vn (Vietnam) is an online platform to buy medicine, first aid and dispensary items

  • TopCV (Vietnam) is a recruitment platform that better connects recruiters and candidates.

  • Walee (Pakistan) is a trading app to connect businesses looking to sell items online with social influencers who want to collaborate with them.

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.

Five years of Google for Startups in Korea

I found my passion for supporting startups during my first visit to Pakistan in 2013. After working at Google for more than three years, I’d decided to take on a project helping women entrepreneurs in Asia Pacific. That’s how I ended up speaking to Pakistani university students, hearing from talented female founders with a vision for change, and working to connect them with mentorship and resources. Here were smart women with big ideas—it was incredible to see them make meaningful contributions to their society, even in the most difficult situations. 

After a few years, I heard about a new project in Korea: an opportunity to continue  supporting founders, but this time in my home country. Campus Seoul, a dedicated space where startups can receive training and mentorship, opened its doors in the summer of 2015, becoming the first Google space of its kind in Asia (we’ve since added a sister Campus in Tokyo). 

Five years in Seoul

From the beginning, we focused on building that same sense of community I’d seen in Pakistan, and putting in place support structures that Korean startups hadn’t had until then. We wanted to provide a place where startups could connect with their fellow founders, tap into Google’s knowledge and skills, and be part of our broader, global Google for Startups network. 


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A sense of community during COVID-19

Today, we see many startups struggling with the impact of COVID-19. But the Korean startup community has come together in solidarity.

Founders and their employees joined a region-wide discussion with VCs about managing change

https://sites.google.com/corp/view/gfsonlinetalk/online-talk-startup-survival-funding

and took part in a wellbeing session to seek advice on dealing with stress— especially important for Korean founders, who have a hard time asking for help (even during a crisis). 

And as the need to work remotely presented new challenges, Campus alumni DableWanted, and Jaranda stepped up, hosting a virtual event to share their tips for working from home and staying strong as a team.

  • Dable CEO Chaehyun Lee recommended that, whenever possible, teams choose virtual meetings over instant messaging, to avoid missing out on non-verbal cues, get immediate clarification on questions, and prevent misunderstandings.

  • Bokkee Lee, CEO at Wanted, stressed the need to avoid communication overload—and also urged startup employees to “be each other’s pacemaker”, checking in with teammates regularly to guard against loneliness and isolation.

  • Seojung Chang, the Jaranda CEO, spoke about the importance of recognising and managing differing remote work styles, putting the efficiency of the team as a whole above that of any one person, and giving people the autonomy to work towards shared goals in their own way. 

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It’s not easy to be a startup founder, whether you’re a female entrepreneur in Pakistan or a mom with a small business idea in Korea. It’s especially difficult in a global pandemic when so much is uncertain. Helping startups build resilience and plan ahead will continue to be our first priority. 

From what I’ve seen time and time again, I know Korea’s startups will stay driven, focused and optimistic. As we look back on an amazing first five years of Google for Startups in Korea, we’ll keep providing the support, mentorship and community that our founders need. Together, we’ll get through this crisis and back to what startups do best: imagining the future, and making big ideas real.

Expanding our support for Black founders

As our CEO Sundar Pichai announced today, Google will invest $175 million toward economic opportunity for Black business owners, startup founders, job seekers and developers. A part of this initiative is the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator in the U.S: a virtual three-month program for Black founders from across the country. 

During the accelerator, startups will be paired with Google experts to identify and solve their most pressing technical challenges, everything from implementing machine learning to developing mobile apps to improving user experience design. Founders will also participate in workshops focused on fundraising, hiring and sales. Interested startups can apply through June 30th and the accelerator will kick off in August. This will be the first in a series of Google for Startups Accelerators focused on underrepresented founders.

Along with the accelerator, we're creating a $5 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. This fund will provide cash awards up to $100,000 to selected startups from our U.S. programs and partner communities. These cash awards will go to startups with Black founders, who have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who are disproportionately locked out of access to capital.

These efforts are a part of our longstanding and growing commitment to support the Black startup community through partnerships with organizations like Founder Gym, Backstage Capital, and American Underground which are working to close the funding gap and empower Black entrepreneurs. This year, we’ve focused our efforts in Atlanta, forging new partnerships with the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Collab Studio, and creating the Google for Startups Founders Academy.

Though we see this as a step forward, we know there is much more work to be done to level the playing field for founders. If you or someone you know would be a great fit for the Google for Startups Accelerator, encourage them to apply by June 30th.

One founder’s mission to make healthcare more accessible

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. That’s why we launched Founded, a web series that shares the stories of women founders who are using tech to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. To highlight the stories of four women of color tech entrepreneurs, for our first season we’re taking our viewers to Atlanta, home of one of the largest technology hubs in the U.S

In our latest episode, we interviewed Chrissa McFarlane who is the Founder and CEO of the blockchain startup Patientory (which is also helping distribute diagnostic kits and medical equipment during the COVID-19 crisis). She first learned about bitcoin in 2010, started working on broader blockchain solutions in 2015 and later published her book, "Future Women: Minority Female Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Era of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency."

Tell me about the moment when you first came up with the idea for Patientory. 

I was working with a telemedicine company and experienced first hand the difficulty patients have obtaining access to their medical information. I was also actively researching Bitcoin and Blockchain at the time and made a connection between the two industries. 

What was your vision for healthcare? What problem are you hoping to solve?

For over a decade, the main problem in the healthcare industry is  the topic of interoperability. The ability to access health information securely and easily across multiple providers has been a challenge. I recently wrote about this for the Electronic Health Reporter

Where do you see Patientory going within the next five years? 

Looking past our current pandemic, I see Patientory providing the capability to keep large populations of people around the world healthy. This year proved that we need access to digital health solutions more than ever. Telemedicine usage rose over 70 percent for certain apps. Being able to treat patients is not going to stop with an office visit, but should be an ongoing engagement that can be facilitated by technology. 

As a fellow New Yorker, I’m curious about your upbringing in the Bronx. How did it shape your vision for your work?

Growing up in the Bronx, I was exposed to various cultures and many different people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. During my first internship at the New York City Human Resource Administration/Department of Social Services, I met with hundreds of families across the city. This opened me up to  discrepancies that existed, especially as it related to healthcare; it helped to shape the mission behind Patientory in serving all people regardless of class or race.  

What are some of the first steps you took when starting your company?

I found advisors and mentors who would help me for the long-term. One of the most important factors of running a business is having strong relationships. 

 Two years ago, you made headlines after securing $7.2 million in funding in two days. How were you able to raise so much so fast?

Being a pioneer in the space, it was difficult to secure the first round of institutional funding. So we decided to create a cryptocurrency, called PTOY, through our Foundation. More than 1,000 people all over the world purchased the cryptocurrency, which secured over $7 million in funding for Patientory. It also provided grants to support early stage companies building blockchain healthcare solutions, which later translated into interest and continued support for Patientory’s initial capital raise. 

What advice do you have for other women interested in starting their own technology companies? 

Connect with an ecosystem, whether it’s an accelerator or incubator, and never stop talking to customers! I recently wrote a book about women entering the modern entrepreneurial world, and I talk about the 10 important mindsets you should have when you’re starting a business—for example, persistence and coachabilty. 

One founder’s mission to make healthcare more accessible

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. That’s why we launched Founded, a web series that shares the stories of women founders who are using tech to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. To highlight the stories of four women of color tech entrepreneurs, for our first season we’re taking our viewers to Atlanta, home of one of the largest technology hubs in the U.S

In our latest episode, we interviewed Chrissa McFarlane who is the Founder and CEO of the blockchain startup Patientory (which is also helping distribute diagnostic kits and medical equipment during the COVID-19 crisis). She first learned about bitcoin in 2010, started working on broader blockchain solutions in 2015 and later published her book, "Future Women: Minority Female Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Era of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency."

Tell me about the moment when you first came up with the idea for Patientory. 

I was working with a telemedicine company and experienced first hand the difficulty patients have obtaining access to their medical information. I was also actively researching Bitcoin and Blockchain at the time and made a connection between the two industries. 

What was your vision for healthcare? What problem are you hoping to solve?

For over a decade, the main problem in the healthcare industry is  the topic of interoperability. The ability to access health information securely and easily across multiple providers has been a challenge. I recently wrote about this for the Electronic Health Reporter

Where do you see Patientory going within the next five years? 

Looking past our current pandemic, I see Patientory providing the capability to keep large populations of people around the world healthy. This year proved that we need access to digital health solutions more than ever. Telemedicine usage rose over 70 percent for certain apps. Being able to treat patients is not going to stop with an office visit, but should be an ongoing engagement that can be facilitated by technology. 

As a fellow New Yorker, I’m curious about your upbringing in the Bronx. How did it shape your vision for your work?

Growing up in the Bronx, I was exposed to various cultures and many different people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. During my first internship at the New York City Human Resource Administration/Department of Social Services, I met with hundreds of families across the city. This opened me up to  discrepancies that existed, especially as it related to healthcare; it helped to shape the mission behind Patientory in serving all people regardless of class or race.  

What are some of the first steps you took when starting your company?

I found advisors and mentors who would help me for the long-term. One of the most important factors of running a business is having strong relationships. 

 Two years ago, you made headlines after securing $7.2 million in funding in two days. How were you able to raise so much so fast?

Being a pioneer in the space, it was difficult to secure the first round of institutional funding. So we decided to create a cryptocurrency, called PTOY, through our Foundation. More than 1,000 people all over the world purchased the cryptocurrency, which secured over $7 million in funding for Patientory. It also provided grants to support early stage companies building blockchain healthcare solutions, which later translated into interest and continued support for Patientory’s initial capital raise. 

What advice do you have for other women interested in starting their own technology companies? 

Connect with an ecosystem, whether it’s an accelerator or incubator, and never stop talking to customers! I recently wrote a book about women entering the modern entrepreneurial world, and I talk about the 10 important mindsets you should have when you’re starting a business—for example, persistence and coachabilty.