Tag Archives: Entrepreneurs

Celebra el Día Mundial del Agua con este emprendimiento

La historia se repite, pero no tiene por qué hacerlo. Fui inspirado a fundar mi emprendimiento, Varuna, cuando Austin Water lanzó su primera advertencia de contaminación del agua en 2018; algo extrañamente similar sucedió semanas antes cuando se desató una masiva tormenta invernal en Texas.  Debido a que las empresas de servicios hídricos no tenían suficientes datos en tiempo real para medir la calidad del agua en los vecindarios individuales, optaron por el enfoque general de solicitar a los 950 000 residentes de la ciudad que hirvieran el agua para ingerir o cocinar. Después de seis días de reducir sustancialmente el consumo de agua y entregar más de 625 000 botellas plásticas de agua, me propuse encontrar una solución. 


Ingeniero en sistemas de oficio y solucionador de problemas por naturaleza, miré alrededor en busca de objetos domésticos y recordé que los lavavajillas cambian de modo cuando el agua que contienen está lo suficientemente limpia como para que pase la luz. Readapté el sensor del lavavajillas para crear mi primer dispositivo de medición de la calidad del agua. Emocionado, llamé a mi amigo y antiguo compañero de trabajo en Chicago, Jamail Carter, para contarle mi idea. Coincidimos en que los problemas de calidad del agua, como la crisis en Flint, son síntomas de un problema mayor: las deficiencias operativas dentro de los servicios hídricos. Cuando los técnicos no tienen visibilidad en tiempo real de lo que sucede en los sistemas de distribución de agua, las empresas de servicios derrochan en un único sensor vinculado a una ubicación o dependen de costosas mediciones manuales que consumen mucho tiempo. Si tan solo tuvieran conocimiento y acceso a la información correcta, cada sistema hídrico de cada comunidad en los Estados Unidos podría ahorrar miles de dólares
—y vidas— anualmente por cada punto de recolección de muestras in situ. 


Tras meses de realizar prototipos e investigaciones, Jamail y yo lanzamos Varuna. La plataforma brinda a los pueblos y las ciudades predicciones, recomendaciones y alertas basadas en la IA de Google para minimizar las deficiencias en las operaciones de gestión hídrica. Mediante una serie de sensores conectados, Varuna reduce la cantidad de veces que los técnicos necesitan recolectar muestras de agua para realizar pruebas de laboratorio para determinar problemas de calidad. La Google Maps Platform proporciona el “dónde” para el qué y el por qué de los problemas de contaminación de la calidad del agua, mientras que Google Cloud permite que los usuarios accedan a esta información cuando la necesitan. 


La investigación muestra que los sistemas hídricos en las comunidades de color cuentan con una cantidad desproporcionada de infracciones de la EPA. Al eliminar las excusas y permitir el acceso, podemos tener un impacto positivo en las comunidades marginadas. Por eso primero experimentamos con programas en ubicaciones históricamente diversas, como Luisiana, Texas
y Alabama, y abordaremos Chicago, Nueva Jersey y la Ciudad de Nueva York a continuación. 


Como inmigrante de color y fundador que desarrolló un emprendimiento en Texas, comprendo de primera mano la frustración de que se nos niegue el acceso a los recursos necesarios. Más allá de la humanidad inherente de la misión de Varuna y de nuestra trayectoria empresarial comprobada, Jamail y yo enfrentamos obstáculos sistemáticos cuando intentamos reunir el capital y relacionarnos en una industria predominantemente caucásica. Afortunadamente, se nos están abriendo puertas, de manera forzada en algunos casos, que antes no se abrían para equipos como el nuestro. La recepción de USD 100,000 por parte de Google for Startups Black Founders Fund el pasado octubre no fue solo una inversión financiera, sino un voto de confianza. Tan solo tres meses después de haber sido seleccionados para Black Founders Fund, recaudamos USD 1,6 millones adicionales, añadimos dos miembros y una agencia asociada de diseño al equipo, mientras rediseñamos y redujimos los costos de nuestro hardware a la mitad. Cuando se financia a los fundadores de color, no solo se estimula la generación de riqueza y se crea acceso igualitario a oportunidades económicas, sino que también se ayuda a devolver el favor dando cabida a otras comunidades poco representadas con nuestra tecnología; un vaso de agua no contaminada a la vez. 


Varuna se basa en la creencia de que cuanto más se sabe, más se puede hacer. El primer paso para la creación de un cambio real es prestar atención a la gravedad del problema, ya sea mejorar la calidad del agua o crear condiciones de competencia equitativas para las empresas entre la población de color, porque solo así abordaremos colectivamente el problema. El acceso al agua potable es una necesidad humana fundamental y universalmente reconocida; algo que todos los seres vivientes compartimos. Con el respaldo de las personas y los productos de Google, en este Día Mundial del Agua pretendemos convertir ese derecho
en realidad y dar impulso a los futuros fundadores de color a lo largo del camino.

How my startup uses AI to reimagine water utilities

History repeats itself, but it doesn’t have to. I was inspired to launch my startup, Varuna, when Austin Water released its first-ever boil water warning in 2018 — a moment eerily similar to the massive winter storm in Texas just a few weeks ago. Because the water utility companies didn’t have enough real-time data to measure water quality in individual neighborhoods, they took the blanket approach of asking all of the city’s 950,000 residents to boil any water ingested through drinking or cooking. After several days of substantially reducing water usage — and seeing more than 625,000 plastic bottles of water handed out across the city — I set out to find a solution. 


A systems engineer by trade and a problem-solver by nature, I repurposed our dishwasher’s sensor to create my first water-quality measurement device. Excited, I called up my Chicago-based friend and former employee Jamail Carter to talk about my idea. We agreed that water quality issues like the crisis in Flint are symptoms of a bigger problem: operational inefficiencies within water utilities. 


When technicians don’t have real-time visibility into what’s going on across the water distribution system, utilities companies either splurge on a single sensor bound to one location or rely on manual measurement, which can be costly and time-consuming. By simply getting access to the right information, each community water system in the U.S. could save thousands of dollars — and lives — annually for every sample collection point they have on-site. 


After months of prototyping and research, Jamail and I launched Varuna, named for the Vedic deity associated with water, truth and enlightenment. The platform provides cities and towns with Google AI-powered alerts, recommendations and predictions to reduce inefficiencies and violations in their water management operations. With a series of connected sensors in the distribution systems, Varuna reduces the number of times technicians need to collect water samples to lab test for quality issues. Google Maps Platform provides the “where” to the what and the why of water quality contamination issues, while Google Cloud gives users a way to access this information whenever they need it—all essential for adopting a proactive, preventive approach to water treatment.


Varuna is founded on the belief that when people know better, they do better. Research shows that water systems in communities of color have a disproportionate amount of EPA violations. By taking away excuses and providing key information, we can positively impact underserved communities. That’s why we first piloted programs in historically diverse locations across Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey and Alabama — and are tackling Chicago and New York City next. 


As a Black immigrant founder building a startup in Texas, I understand firsthand the frustration of being denied access to needed resources. Despite the inherent humanity of Varuna’s mission and our proven entrepreneurial track record, Jamail and I faced systemic obstacles as we attempted to raise capital and network in a predominately white industry. Less than 3% of U.S. venture capital funding went to Black-led companies in 2020, despite the fact that 10% of American companies are Black-owned, according to U.S. Census data.


Thankfully, doors are getting opened — forced open in some cases — that have been previously closed to teams like ours. Receiving a $100,000 cash award from theGoogle for Startups Black Founders Fund last October wasn’t just a financial investment; it was a vote of confidence. Only three months after being selected for the Black Founders Fund, we've raised an additional $1.6 million, added two team members and a design agency partner, all while redesigning and halving the cost of our hardware. When you fund Black founders, you not only create equal access to economic opportunity, but also empower us to create real change with our tech, one glass of clean water at a time. 

How we’re supporting startups combating climate change

Combating climate change requires action from everyone—businesses, governments, cities and people. We believe that by investing in technology we can help build novel solutions and empower people to take action. Which is why we’re focused on elevating people using technology to combat climate change and create a healthier planet for everyone. 


This month we launched the Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change for climate-focused technology startups across Canada and the United States. This 10-week program helps bring the best of Google to startups using artificial intelligence and machine learning to combat climate change. In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the accelerator will focus on product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development for founders. If you or someone you know would be a great fit for the Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change, encourage them to apply by April 1, 2021.


This program builds on the success of last year's Google for Startups Accelerator: Sustainable Development Goals which supports startups from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Through this program, we supported Everimpact from France, a company that combines satellite imagery and ground sensing to monitor air quality and carbon emissions in cities, and Ororatech from Germany, a commercial supplier of infrared satellite data used for early detection and real-time monitoring of wildfires. 


Supporting startups focused on climate change is just one way we’re taking action as a company. Last September, our CEO Sundar Pichai announceda set of ambitious sustainability commitments, including a vision for a carbon-free future for everyone and our mission to empower people and communities to realize their own potential for impact. Recently, we released our 2020 Climate Report and reaffirmed our ongoing commitment to making sure that everyone—people, cities, governments and businesses—have the tools to be part of the solution. We’re optimistic that technology and entrepreneurship can help avert climate change.

Eight women kicking butt and taking (domain) names

Who do you think of when you hear the words sister, daughter, mother? How about when the words are leader, founder, CEO? As a mom of three, I want my kids to grow up in a world where the second set of words is as likely as the first to bring a woman to mind. Which is why we’re elevating the voices of women and making sure their stories are heard in today’s #MyDomain series. On this International Women’s Day, Google Registry is sharing eight new videos — all featuring female leaders who are taking care of business on their .app and .dev domains. 

Alice Truswell

Alice Truswell is co-founder of Snoop.app, a money-saving app. “Fear being forgettable more than fearing not fitting in,” she says, “because the earlier you get comfortable with your voice, the earlier you can start refining results.”

Annie Hwang

Annie Hwang is co-founder of Jemi.app, a company that helps creators and public figures interact with their audiences and make money. “Don't let imposter syndrome ever stop you,” she advises. “We've grown up in a society where we are constantly told that we should be a follower. Don't be a follower anymore; be a leader!”

Elena Czubiak

Elena Czubiak is the developer and designer behind saturdaydesign.dev and co-founder of imaginarie.app. She quit her day job in 2018 to start her own business and hasn’t looked back since. Elena says, "Remember that although it might feel like starting over, you'll quickly see that your unique experiences will help you solve problems and make connections that nobody else could."

Ifrah Khan

Ifrah Khan is co-founder of Clubba.app, a platform that provides virtual creative extracurricular clubs (led by college students) for kids ages 6 to 12.  Ifrah encourages entrepreneurial women to find and connect with other women who are also working on their own ventures. “Really talk to them and get to know their journey,” she says. “If they fundraised, how did they fundraise? Fundraising is so hard when you start your own business in general, but as a woman it’s even harder.”

Rita Kozlov

Rita Kozlov is a product manager who leads the Cloudflare Workers product, which uses the workers.dev domain. Rita’s advice for women who want to become a product manager is, “Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. In product management that’s definitely 100% a strength and never a weakness.”

Romina Arrigoni Samsó 

Romina Arrigoni Samsó is founder and CEO of ADDSKIN.app, a social marketplace for skincare, where community recommendations help customers choose the best products. Romina says, “La gracia de la tecnología es que como dice el dicho, el avión se construye en el aire. Lo importante es lanzarse,” which translates to, “The grace of technology is that, as the saying goes, the plane is built in the air. The important thing is to launch.”

Soraya Jaber

Soraya Jaber is co-founder and CEO of Minsar.app, a no-code AR-VR creative and publishing platform. “We don't care about your age, your gender, your race, or sexual orientation — there is no space where you are not allowed,” Soraya says.“Don't hinder yourself, jump into entrepreneurship. I can assure you that's a hell of a great adventure!”

Stefania Olafsdóttir

Stefania Olafsdóttir is the co-founder and CEO of Avo.app, a next-generation analytics governance company. Her advice? “It’s way more important to be brave than to be perfect.”

To see a special video featuring all these amazing women, check out goo.gle/mydomain. If you have a unique story to share about a .app, .dev, or .page domain and would like to be considered for our series, please fill out this short application form. Here’s to helping tell the stories of women everywhere so that we may inspire generations to come.

Get to know our Women Techmakers Ambassadors

Last March, Google’s Women Techmakers (WTM) community was preparing for International Women’s Day with hundreds of in-person events all across the globe. But as COVID-19 spread and people everywhere went into lockdown, WTM Ambassadors had to change their plans.

Fast forward a year later, our community is preparing for International Women’s Day (IWD) events again — this time, going virtual from the get-go. 

2021 marks the ninth year the Women Techmakers global community has celebrated IWD by hosting events to educate, connect and inspire hundreds of thousands of women in technology. This year, Ambassadors are hosting events around the theme #CouragetoCreate. #CouragetoCreate means having the strength to deal with adversity and the passion to make extraordinary things. 

In preparation for IWD and the various virtual events, I spoke with several of the WTM Ambassadors about their role models, planning online events and what sessions they’re looking forward to.

Who’s an inspirational woman in your life, or someone you look up to?

Shilpa: My mom is someone I look up to. She always gave me courage and strength to face  challenges. She’s always been there for me and is a guiding force in my life. I am who I am because of her.

Diana: I would say WTM ambassador Stacy Devino. She's a positive influence on so many and definitely a role model to me. She's not only one of the smartest people I've ever met but also someone with a big heart. She’s community driven and she really cares about others. 

Hasnet: You might expect to hear the name of a famous person, but my mother is the most inspiring person in my life. She isn’t famous but she sacrificed so much for her family. She inspires and pushes me.

What’s the hardest part about planning online-only events?

Merve: You don’t get that face-to-face communication. Attendees can see us and see our body language and get to know us, but we usually only see their comments on chat. 

Diana: Making sure our community has accessible tools that aren’t distracting or more it difficult for them to access our events. 

What about the best part?

Priya: The best part of online events is virtually meeting a lot of brilliant, like-minded people and making good networking.

Diana: We can reach and connect to far corners of the world, which would otherwise be impossible in person.

In the spirit of #CouragetoCreate, what project are you working on right now?

Shilpa: I’m working on an e-learning chatbot  focused on helping students and teachers.

Hasenat: I’m part of a team working on a project that  creates  timetables for schools and universities so teachers and  administrations can coordinate better.

Diana: I’m working on an open source notification app for diabetic patients — it's actually already online. The idea is to notify relatives or friends of diabetics — like me! — when someone’s insulin levels are dangerous. I don't want anyone with diabetes to feel like they are helpless.

What session are you most excited for? 

Priya: The session on deploying Machine Learning models on Cloud and a session on API integration definitely interest me  most.

Diana: All of them! There's so much I'm looking forward to learning! 

What does IWD mean to you?

Priya: IWD is a joyride! It motivates more women to come forward to speak about their journeys, and for others to find their own paths to success.

Hasenat: This day reminds everyone that women have extraordinary power and are remarkable and respected. It’s a day to reflect on the work that remains: Many women continue to be unheard and don't have the opportunity to speak out. 

Merve: It’s a day for women in tech, and women everywhere, to congratulate ourselves. And it’s a chance to give courage to more women who want to enter this beautiful, limitless area.

You can join our IWD events virtually from anywhere in the world. Take a session with Women Techmakers in your area, or check out a keynote from a speaker somewhere across the globe. We hope you’ll join us from wherever you are.


3 things we learned from the second season of ‘Founded’

Last year, Google’s  Women Techmakers launched “Founded,” a podcast celebrating the real, honest stories of women leaders in the tech industry and their journeys to entrepreneurship. Now, we’re back with a second season that will follow six women in tech with a common goal: to build a successful business. 

We’ll hear from women like Hana Hassan, who’s working to diversify tech companies’ hiring practices, and Laura Rodriguez O’Dwyer, CEO of a startup that’s demystifying certain parts of learning languages.

As the host of “Founded,” I’ve learned so much from these incredibly driven women. So to give you a sneak peek to the season, here are three lessons you’ll hear throughout the episodes: 

  1. Just start. In the interviews, you’ll hear that most of the founders we spoke to didn’t have the “perfect” financial or social circumstances to launch a tech startup. What they did have was  ambition and drive;  the moment they put their foot to the pedal, their ideas took off. Sometimes this take-off was very slow, and sometimes it was fast. What mattered is that they began their journeys and made their ideas a reality. 
  2. Be bold in your ask. You can’t build a company on your own. You’ll need a team, and you’ll probably need other people’s money. These people are investing in you and your vision. To get that investment, you have to make “the ask.” The initial ask might be challenging, but you need  to grow your resources and knowledge base if you want to build a company beyond one person and one idea. We heard from people who demonstrated how one relationship, one investor, one supporter could transform a startup’s direction. So never miss that opportunity! 
  3. Stay rooted in a clear sense of purpose. From ensuring financial stability to building and nurturing a team, founding and running a startup is hard work.  But a common thread between these founders was they always reminded themselves of why they started their businesses in the first place. What makes them get up in the morning is the same drive that helps them overcome obstacles. 

Season two of “Founded” is available now, and you can find it on Google Podcasts or wherever you listen.

Startup advice from our Accelerator: Europe graduates

Despite all of its challenges, 2020 was a year of rapid development and expansion for the inaugural class of the Google for Startups Accelerator: Europe, an intensive three-month program designed to help growth-stage companies build their businesses. Dialing in from six countries across Europe and Israel, the nine participating startups each spent over 150 hours working with 75 industry mentors and Google experts, sharpening their skills in technology, product design, customer acquisition and leadership.  


While much of the support from the Accelerator catered to their specific business and technology needs, the startups received training and mentorship to develop their leadership and organizational management skills. Read on to see what they learned about themselves along their startup journeys, and their advice for those just starting out.


1. Listen to people who’ve walked your road before.

This tip comes from Tomasz Domino, the COO of Infermedica, a health tech company whose diagnostic engine collects data, checks symptoms and guides patients to the right care. “Do not reinvent the wheel!” he says. “Make use of someone else’s experience and, if possible, learn from their mistakes! It will help you not only save precious time, but also allocate your resources in a more effective way.” 


2. Seek more data.

“Build your business on data, not on intuition,” advises Attila AlGharawi, the cofounder and CEO of Xeropan, which motivates language learners through an intuitive AI-powered game. “Bring on Google Analytics, A/B testing and surveys, anything that will help you validate the effectiveness of your product. But remember to allocate time to understand these measurements. It’s the only way to make sure your startup responds to the right needs of the right customers.”


3. Your customers can tell you more about your business than a trends analysis.

“Feedback is a blessing,” declares Marta Czarnecka, the VP Marketing of Sundose, which manufactures data-driven diet supplements tailored to each customer's unique needs. “Customers are the best source of information on how to improve your products, what next steps to take as a company, and ultimately how to grow! The only thing you need to do is listen carefully and observe their reaction.”


4. Build the right team.

Cristian Mezei, the cofounder of Deepstash — an educational platform that aims to change how we consume and work with information — has learned the value of a smart hiring plan. “The most valuable resource of any business isn’t a great strategy, or a big round of financing, or even a top-notch technology; it’s the people you hire who share key concepts and values of the company,” Cristian says. “A good working team is much greater than the sum of its parts. After all, it's an investment that can pay off for years.” 


5. Accept the unknown.

“Startups navigate uncharted territory,” notes Katarzyna Dorsey, founder & CEO of Yosh.AI, which uses AI to automate the communication between companies and their users. “The sooner you accept the unknown, the better. Sometimes, relentlessness and a bit of luck are the best allies of those who don’t stop starting, so believe in your ideas and just...try!”


6. Stay curious. 

“Remember the old saying ‘learning never ends?’ Well, the adage holds up, especially when it comes to startups,” says Avital Beck, the CEO and cofounder of Diagnose Stick, which offers a test strip to check the ingredients and quality of breast milk. “Yes, you can find everything on Google, but don’t be afraid to ask people for help or a word of explanation when in need. Stay curious about the world, and it will pay off.” 


7. “Personalization” isn't jargon; it means getting to know your users.

Martin Pentenrieder, the cofounder of SQIN, is aiming to change the world of beauty retail by creating the world’s number-one beauty community app. “While ‘segmentation,’ ‘personalization’ or ‘user personas’ may sound a bit jargony at first, they are super important in the later stage of your business,” he says. “Offering each visitor a unique experience tailored to what’s important to them is the only way to make sure they will come back for more!”


8. Great tech is not enough — you also need a clear message for your target audience. 

“When starting a business, many founders think about checking boxes like artificial intelligence or machine learning, but that won’t make your business automatically successful,” says Marius Taft Mathisen, CEO of Appfarm, a no-code development platform that helps users quickly create business apps. “If you don’t have a credible story behind your business and an identified audience, you can easily lose your purpose. Define the two in the first place before you start working on sophisticated tech solutions!”


9. “Listen to Your Heart” isn’t just a ‘90s hit by Roxette.

Last but not least comes a tip from László Békéssy, the cofounder and CEO of Codeberry, a fully localized and gamified coding school for non-English speakers. “Building a business is hard work that requires dedication, time and energy,” László says. “So when thinking about starting something of your own, make sure that you are truly passionate about the idea. Listen to yourself — if your heart isn’t in it, then it’s not the right time.“

Curious how Google can help take your idea or new business to the next level? Learn more about Accelerator and other Google for Startups programs on startup.google.com.

These Black tech creators are changing the domain

Posted by Jermaine Robinson, Google Registry Team

Illustration of 6 developers

It’s been two years since the Google Registry team launched its #MyDomain video series, which highlights creators in tech. While we’re proud of the initiatives we’ve featured so far, we want to do a better job of representing all voices. In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring six Black creators who are making waves in the digital space.

Dairien Boyd, #MyDomain Video

Dairien Boyd is a founding member and principal designer at All Turtles, a mission-driven product studio. He’s responsible for building experiences that are both fun and useful within mmhmm.app — a project born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new reality of working remotely set Dairien and his team on a path to design a better way to deliver presentations — one that works in an all-video conferencing world. They created a powerful presentation tool that provides immersive backgrounds and visual effects to help add a bit of fun to virtual meetings.

Benjamin Williams, #MyDomain Video

Benjamin Williams also found new sources of inspiration during the pandemic. A software engineer at Google by day, Williams launched floward.app — a journaling and creative writing application that encourages “imperfection” — as a way to cope with the challenges and stresses that come from being stuck at home. By providing daily thought-provoking prompts, users can get their thoughts down on “paper” within a simple UI that intentionally prevents going back and making revisions; this way, they stay in the flow of writing instead of fixating on what they’ve already written.

Rhianna Jones, #MyDomain Video

A writer and model by day, Rhianna Jones started a campaign for “Afrovisibility” as a true passion project. Her campaign, which pushes for more widespread adoption of natural hair emojis within universal keyboards (including Android and iOS), went viral. It wasn’t long before her domain — afrohairmatters.page — helped Jones connect with industry leaders. “The opportunity to collaborate only helps the culture move forward in a direction that better represents the rainbow of tech users,” Jones says. While it might seem small to some, the addition of natural hair emojis is a major step towards promoting Afrovisibility in everyone’s daily digital language and lives — especially for a younger generation that is all about ✊🏿 🤗 👩🏾‍ 💕.

Michael Broughton, #MyDomain Video

Michael Broughton, CEO of Perch, launched his credit-building app after getting denied a loan to cover the remainder of his college tuition while attending the University of Southern California. “I was told to get a credit card in order to build credit, but when I applied for a credit card, they said I needed to build my credit score first,” he says. “This made me realize how difficult it can be for individuals to develop their personal finances without already having a foot in the door.” Instead of feeling defeated, he channeled his frustrations into launching getperch.app, a service that helps others build credit history and boost their credit scores.

Edward Cunningham, #MyDomain Video

Edward Cunningham is cofounder and CTO of NXSTEP.app, a platform that allows high-school seniors to connect with current college students to get deeper insights into life within the walls of various academic institutions. By connecting with currently-enrolled college students, seniors can better determine the right college for them. It’s like matchmaking for higher education: helping students decide on their future alma mater based on personality, interests, and goals.

Adesina Tyler, #MyDomain Video

Adesina Tyler is our youngest creator in this month’s #MyDomain series. Tyler is a junior in high school, juggling the complexities that come with distance learning, schoolwork and extracurricular activities. As busy as he’s been, he somehow found the time to launch wondershop.page as part of his participation in Google’s technology program, Code Next. He built his website (an online retail store) as a way to better understand the basic building blocks of e-commerce.

Videos of everyone featured above are available at goo.gle/mydomain. Ensuring proper representation of all groups is crucial for everyone in tech. We all benefit and learn from hearing the full spectrum of voices — especially the voices of those who’ve been underrepresented for far too long.

We want to actively do our part in moving the industry in the right direction by celebrating all entrepreneurs, founders and creators. If you have a unique story to share about an .app. ,dev, or .page domain and would like to be considered for our next series, please fill out this short application form and help us produce and share content that better represents all of us in an industry that still has a long way to go.

These Black tech creators are changing the domain

It’s been two years since the Google Registry team launched its #MyDomain video series, which highlights creators in tech. While we’re proud of the initiatives we’ve featured so far, we want to do a better job of representing all voices. In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring six Black creators who are making waves in the digital space. 

Dairien Boyd

Dairien Boyd is a founding member and principal designer at All Turtles, a mission-driven product studio. He’s responsible for building experiences that are both fun and useful within mmhmm.app — a project born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new reality of working remotely set Dairien and his team on a path to design a better way to deliver presentations — one that works in an all-video conferencing world. They created a powerful presentation tool that provides immersive backgrounds and visual effects to help add a bit of fun to virtual meetings.

Benjamin Williams

Benjamin Williams also found new sources of inspiration during the pandemic. A software engineer at Google by day, Williams launched floward.app — a journaling and creative writing application that encourages “imperfection” — as a way to cope with the challenges and stresses that come from being stuck at home. By providing daily thought-provoking prompts, users can get their thoughts down on “paper” within a simple UI that intentionally prevents going back and making revisions; this way, they stay in the flow of writing instead of fixating on what they’ve already written.

Rhianna Jones

A writer and model by day, Rhianna Jones started a campaign for “Afrovisibility” as a true passion project. Her campaign, which pushes for more widespread adoption of natural hair emojis within universal keyboards (including Android and iOS), went viral. It wasn’t long before her domain — afrohairmatters.page — helped Jones connect with industry leaders. “The opportunity to collaborate only helps the culture move forward in a direction that better represents the rainbow of tech users,” Jones says. While it might seem small to some, the addition of natural hair emojis is a major step towards promoting Afrovisibility in everyone’s daily digital language and lives — especially for a younger generation that is all about ✊🏿 🤗 👩🏾‍  💕.

Michael Broughton

Michael Broughton, CEO of Perch, launched his credit-building app after getting denied a loan to cover the remainder of his college tuition while attending the University of Southern California. “I was told to get a credit card in order to build credit, but when I applied for a credit card, they said I needed to build my credit score first,” he says. “This made me realize how difficult it can be for individuals to develop their personal finances without already having a foot in the door.” Instead of feeling defeated, he channeled his frustrations into launching getperch.app, a service that helps others build credit history and boost their credit scores.

Edward Cunningham

Edward Cunningham is cofounder and CTO ofNXSTEP.app, a platform that allows high-school seniors to connect with current college students to get deeper insights into life within the walls of various academic institutions. By connecting with currently-enrolled college students, seniors can better determine the right college for them. It’s like matchmaking for higher education: helping students decide on their future alma mater based on personality, interests, and goals.

Adesina Tyler

Adesina Tyler is our youngest creator in this month’s #MyDomain series. Tyler is a junior in high school, juggling the complexities that come with distance learning, schoolwork and extracurricular activities. As busy as he’s been, he somehow found the time to launch wondershop.page as part of his participation in Google’s technology program, Code Next. He built his website (an online retail store) as a way to better understand the basic building blocks of e-commerce.

Videos of everyone featured above are available at goo.gle/mydomain. Ensuring proper representation of all groups is crucial for everyone in tech. We all benefit and learn from hearing the full spectrum of voices — especially the voices of those who’ve been underrepresented for far too long. 

We want to actively do our part in moving the industry in the right direction by celebrating all entrepreneurs, founders and creators. If you have a unique story to share about an .app. ,dev, or .page domain and would like to be considered for our next series, please fill out this short application form and help us produce and share content that better represents all of us in an industry that still has a long way to go.

Sharpen your founder skills at Startup School

Last year, Hanna Kim, the founder of Grip, a live-streaming e-commerce platform in Korea, graduated from our Google for Startups’ Immersion: Women Founders program. This was an eight-week mentorship program for female founders across the Asia Pacific region. “It’s been really helpful to get insights about business and HR,” Hannah says. “The program made me dream even bigger.” Using her new skills, she is now gearing up to take her startup global. 

I work on a team that connects startups with the right people, products and best practices to help them thrive and grow. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to meet many inspiring founders like Hanna, who are eager to learn, and ready to take their startups to the next level. Especially in the last year, I’ve heard from founders that they’re looking for more tools and skills to pivot and scale their startups to face today’s challenges. 


Today, we’re launching Startup School — a series of free, hands-on virtual courses for startup founders and their teams across Asia Pacific. We’ve provided training programs for startups for years, but last year was the first time we fully went digital. Though it had its challenges, I was excited to still be able to connect with and support startups, especially as many of them navigated new obstacles brought about by the global pandemic. Startup School expands on that experience. With this new program, we hope to arm startups to help them tackle the major issues of our region.


The interactive sessions will cover a range of topics, from digital marketing and product knowledge to business strategy. The sessions will be led by Googlers, entrepreneurs and industry leaders from around the world. We will host one training per week for the next 12 weeks, with the first one happening this Thursday. Participants can choose from a variety of topics, and register for the courses that will best support their goals.  


Around the world, I’ve seen startups stepping up to solve new and unforeseen challenges, from an app that provides online sign language to a chatbot servicethat assists online sellers. This kind of agility and innovative thinking is precisely what we need to face today’s challenges. We are committed to helping startups succeed, and know that their success will help solve community problems and bolster our local economies. If you’re a founder or part of a startup in the Asia Pacific region, we hope you’ll register for Startup Schoolnow. See you in class!