Announcing our second Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders cohort

Posted by Jason Scott, Head of Startup Developer Ecosystem, USA

Head shots of 2 people. One male and one female

Last year, 12 inspiring entrepreneurs kicked off the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders. Throughout the three month program, founders met weekly to work on growing their startups and solving tough technical challenges. “There’s so much happening every single day as a startup,” says Ashley Edwards, founder of MindRight Health, whose startup is making mental healthcare accessible to people of color and low-income families. “The program helped us navigate everything from protecting our team from distractions to building out our machine learning and data science models.”

This August, we’ll launch the second Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders with 11 more incredible Black-led startups from across North America. This class features startups using technology to solve challenges in medicine, education, water sustainability, real estate, and more:

GIF of Black Founders class

Acclinate (Birmingham, Alabama, USA): A digital health startup using culture and tech to source diverse participants for clinical trials.

Adapdix (Pleasanton, California, USA): An AI/ML startup that works with large industrial semiconductor, electronic and assembly companies.

AllHere Education (Boston, Massachusetts, USA): Fosters student attendance and supports families and students with mobile messaging powered by AI.

Chatdesk (New York, New York, USA): Uses machine learning to scale support teams with the click of a button.

DOSS (Houston, Texas, USA): A digital, voice-activated real estate marketplace that empowers consumers to speak, text or type questions about properties nationwide and receive accurate, easy answers instantly.

Fêtefully (Dallas, Texas, USA): Digitizes wedding planning experiences, allowing planners to generate greater revenue and improve their offerings to customers.

Mommy Monitor (Toronto Ontario, Canada): A maternal care services platform that provides an easily accessible and culturally safe range of services that gives parents extra support customized to their particular needs and wants.

Optimal Technical Corporation (Atlanta, Georgia, USA): Intelligently eliminates electricity waste, lowers operational expenses, and helps to save the planet.

Sugar (Los Angeles, California, USA): Provides software to building owners and managers to transform the residential experience.

Varuna (Chicago, Illinois, USA): The leading water distribution system monitoring company providing real-time visibility, awareness and insights to water systems enabling optimal operations and consumer safety.

Zirtue (Dallas, Texas, USA): The world’s first relationship-based lending application that simplifies loans between friends, family and trusted relationships while giving borrowers the option to pay creditors directly using their borrowed funds.

We are incredibly excited to support this group of founders over the next three months and beyond, connecting them with the best of our people, products, and programming to advance their companies and solutions.

Be sure to join us as we showcase their accomplishments on Thursday, October 21 from 12:30pm – 2:00pm EST at our Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders Demo Day 2021.

With 1,600 students by his side, Jack Lee grew the largest Google Developer Student Club in the world

Posted by Noa Havazelet, Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs, UK & Ireland

With 1,600 students by his side, Jack Lee grew the largest Google Developer Student Club in the world in just 6 months at the London School of Economics (LSE). A life-long athlete, who loves leading teams, Jack saw that reigniting his university’s GDSC would be a great opportunity to have a large impact on the local tech scene. With a heavy focus on partnerships, Jack connected members of his club with leaders at top companies and other student groups across Scotland, France, Norway, Canada, and Nigeria. These collaborations enabled students to practice networking, while gaining access to key internships.

Learn more about Jack and his club below.

Image of Jack Lee

Image of Jack Lee speaking at a GDSC event

Student-to-student mentorship with impact

Leaders like Jack Lee make Google Developer Student Clubs around the world special by providing a trusted and fun space for student-to-student mentorship. When students step up to help their peers, a strong camaraderie and support system forms beyond the classroom.

One of the secrets to Jack’s success was to appeal to both computer science students as well as those with a non-technical background, like business majors. To inspire more students with different backgrounds to join the club, Jack put together a team of additional student leaders. Under his leadership, this team had the freedom to independently build tech-focused events that would interest students across the university.

Image of GDSC LSE team

After the first semester, Jack’s approach was working. They hosted over 80 events, covering a wide range of topics including front end web development and career talks with financial firms.

The intersection of students with different backgrounds inspired club members to work together on community projects, utilizing their different skills. In fact, a few club members formed teams to solve for one of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the Google Developer Student Clubs 2021 Solution Challenge, students from the London School of Economics developed prototype solutions for NGOs on 1) wildfire analysis using TensorFlow, 2) raising donations and grant access, and 3) increasing voter registrations.

As more students continued to join their GDSC, Jack decided to up the tempo to keep the momentum going.

Connecting students to companies

Since the London School of Economics is not only a tech-focused university, Jack requested support from a team at Google for Startups. Together they reached out to some of the world’s largest firms and startups to collaborate on events and specialized programs for the student club. Jack’s GDSC established relationships with 6 partners, and 3 local sponsors from startups, NGOs, and financial firms. All these partners contributed to nearly 30 events throughout the academic year, which included:

  • Introductory Python courses
  • Mentorship sessions
  • Networking events
  • Talks with CEOs
  • Panel talks across industries

These events started catching the attention of students across Europe and Asia, with some students who could not afford to attend university reaching out for technical learning resources and opportunities.

Connecting 150 students to mentors from different startups is one of the achievements that makes Jack and the club leaders most proud.

This is yet another example of how Jack’s determination to grow a stronger community led him to build a global Google Developer Student Club that left a profound impact on his fellow students.

If you’re also a student and want to join a Google Developer Student Club community like this, find one near you here.

Celebrating Earth Day with our inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change cohort


Posted by Jason Scott, Head of Startup Developer Ecosystem, USA | Nick Zakrasek, Global Product Lead, Sustainability

GIF of Climate Change Class Announcement

Today, people across the world will celebrate and participate in Earth Day. In line with Google’s broader commitment to address climate change, we are proud to join in this celebration by announcing the first cohort for our Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change program. The 10-week digital accelerator is designed to help North American sustainable technology startups take their businesses to the next level.

Meet the cohort of 11 companies, who are collectively leveraging technology and data to combat the challenge of climate change:

75F, Bloomington, Minnesota, USA

75F is a vertically-integrated building intelligence company using smart sensors, controllers and software to make commercial buildings more efficient and comfortable.

BlocPower, Brooklyn, New York, USA

BlocPower is providing software and financial tools to analyze, finance, and manage the challenge of converting millions of urban buildings off of fossil fuels.

CarbiCrete, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

CarbiCrete’s concrete-making solution completely eliminates the need for cement, making it cheaper and stronger than traditional concrete, all through an overall carbon-negative process.

Enexor BioEnergy, Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Enexor BioEnergy delivers renewable electricity and thermal using organic, biomass, and plastic feedstock, helping to mitigate climate change while addressing global waste overabundance challenges.

FARM-TRACE, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

FARM-TRACE is a software platform which delivers verified reforestation impacts created by farmers to brands wanting to reduce their climate footprints.

Fermata Energy, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Fermata Energy designs, supplies, and operates technology that turns electric vehicles into energy storage assets that combat climate change, increase resilience, and dramatically lower the cost of ownership.

Flair, San Francisco, California, USA

Flair makes buildings more comfortable using less energy while promoting energy efficiency, electrification, and smart grid integration.

Heatworks, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA

Heatworks uses electronic controls and graphite electrodes to heat water instantly, endlessly, and precisely, without energy loss.

Wild Earth, Berkeley, California, USA

Wild Earth is a plant-based pet food company that harnesses biotech to create cruelty free products with less environmental impact.

Yard Stick PBC, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Yard Stick fights climate change by measuring soil carbon accurately, instantly, and affordably, providing the “missing link” to carbon sequestration on the gigaton per year scale.

Zauben, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Zauben is designing the world’s smartest green products, like sensor-driven, IoT-connected green roofs and living walls, to create healthier and happier environments for humans and our planet.

The program kicks off on Monday, June 7th and will focus on product design, technical infrastructure, customer acquisition, and leadership development – granting our founders access to an expansive network of mentors, senior executives, and industry leaders.

We are incredibly excited to support this group of entrepreneurs over the next three months and beyond, connecting them with the best of our people, products, and programming to advance their companies and solutions.

Be sure to join us as we showcase their accomplishments on Thursday, August 12th from 12:30pm – 2:00pm EST at our Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change Demo Day.

Announcing the 12 remarkable innovators selected for the upcoming Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI program


Posted by Jason Scott, Head of Startup Developer Ecosystem, USA & Saurabh Sharma, Head of Assistant Investments

Image from accelertor

In December 2020, we announced our inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI program, a 10-week digital accelerator designed to help North American voice technology startups to take their businesses to the next level. Today, we are proud to announce our cohort of 12 companies – collectively leveraging voice user interfaces to solve complex challenges across accessibility, education, and care:

Babbly, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Babbly provides parents real-time insights on their child’s speech and language skills and recommends personalized activities that promote their child’s development.

Bespoken, Seattle, Washington, United States

Bespoken is the leader in automated testing, training, and monitoring for voice applications and devices. If you can talk to it, Bespoken can test it!

conversationHEALTH, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

conversationHEALTH enables conversational agents for patients and healthcare professionals in clinical trials, medical affairs, and commercial lines of business.

Nēdl, Santa Monica, California, United States

nēdl is democratizing access to the microphone by giving everyone their own live call-in radio station that transcribes, amplifies, and monetizes the audio creator’s words as they speak.

OTO.AI, New York, New York, United States

OTO is building an acoustic engine capable of delivering non-semantic insights (intonation, emotions, laughter,etc.) from voice streams in real-time, on a small compute footprint.

Piffle, San Francisco, California, United States

Piffle is a voice gaming platform that aims to nurture professional wellness through conversational gameplay.

Powow AI, New York, New York, United States

Powow is a SaaS platform which unleashes the power of AI in business meetings. Powow uses proprietary AI algorithms to transcribe and analyze meetings, transforming them into actionable insights.

SiMBi, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

SiMBi combines learners’ narrations with the text of a story to create an engaging audiovisual book that learners worldwide can read along to.

Talkatoo, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Talkatoo is a dictation software explicitly designed for veterinary and medical professionals, enabling them to save time in their practice.

Tinychef, New York, New York, United States

tinychef is a voice-first Culinary AI™ platform that helps consumers in their kitchen from their dinner dilemma, to grocery planning, grocery shopping, and cooking their meals with interactive experiences on smart speakers.

Voicify, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Voicify’s SaaS platform allows brands and large enterprises to easily design, build, and deploy voice apps, chatbots, and other conversational experiences across voice assistants, chatbots, and social media platforms.

Vowel, New York, New York, United States

Vowel brings the best of productivity and communication platforms into a single, integrated meeting tool.

The program kicks off on Monday, March 15th and will focus on product design, technical infrastructure, customer acquisition, and leadership development – granting our founders access to an expansive network of mentors, senior executives, and industry leaders,

We are incredibly excited to support this group of entrepreneurs over the next three months, connecting them with the best of our people, products, and programming to advance their companies and solutions.

We look forward to augmenting the work of these 12 innovators and to showcasing their accomplishments on Thursday, May 20th at 12:30pm EST at our Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI Demo Day.

A Google for Startups Accelerator for startups using voice technology to better the world


Posted by Jason Scott, Head of Startup Developer Ecosystem, U.S., Google

At Google, we have long understood that voice user interfaces can help millions of people accomplish their goals more effectively. Our journey in voice began in 2008 with Voice Search — with notable milestones since, such as building our first deep neural network in 2012, our first sequence-to-sequence network in 2015, launching Google Assistant in 2016, and processing speech fully on device in 2019. These building blocks have enabled the unique voice experiences across Google products that our users rely on everyday.

Voice AI startups play a key role in helping build and deliver innovative voice-enabled experiences to users. And, Google is committed to helping tech startups deliver high impact solutions in the voice space. This month, we are excited to announce the Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI program, which will bring together the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology with a joint mission to advance and support the most promising voice-enabled AI startups across North America.

As part of this Google for Startups Accelerator, selected startups will be paired with experts to help tackle the top technical challenges facing their startup. With an emphasis on product development and machine learning, founders will connect with voice technology and AI/ML experts from across Google to take their innovative solutions to the next level.

We are proud to launch our first ever Google for Startups Accelerator: Voice AI — building upon Google’s longstanding efforts to advance the future of voice-based computing. The accelerator will kick off in March 2021, bringing together a cohort of 10 to 12 innovative voice technology startups. If this sounds like your startup, we’d love to hear from you. Applications are open until January 28, 2021.

mPaani raises Series A from connections made at Google’s accelerator

Jen Harvey, Head of Marketing, Google Developers Launchpad

Google Developers Launchpad is an accelerator program that excels in helping startups solve the world’s biggest problems through the best of Google, with a focus on advanced technology. However our impact doesn’t stop there. A distinguishing aspect of our program is the network that we build with, and for, our founders. Over the past five years, Launchpad has created a global community of founders based on deep, genuine connections that we foster during the program, and that community supports one another in remarkable ways.

When Akanksha Hazari Ericson, Launchpad alumna and founder of m.Paani, took the stage at Google Developers Launchpad Future of Finance Summit in March, she didn’t know what would come of it. Fast forward, she just announced a Series A financing round, led by an institutional venture investor who was in the audience and two of her fellow founders in the Launchpad Accelerator program.

“We weren’t even raising at the time,” said Akanksha. “They saw our Future of Finance presentation and engaged with me right after my talk. Soon after, they were on a flight to Mumbai to meet our team and customers. Their investment initiated this round.”

The peer investment came from Launchpad alumni, and angel investors, Kevin Aluwi, CEO and Co-Founder, and Ryu Suliawan, Head of Merchants at GO-JEK, a Southeast Asian on-demand, multi-service platform and digital payment technology group. Both Kevin and Ryu saw direct value in what m.Paani and have stated their excitement to be part of m.Paani’s journey. They also saw huge strategic potential for the company to empower local retailers beyond India.

“It is because of the strong community of founders that Launchpad creates that I was able to make these amazing friends and mentors. Those connections led to this investment,” Akanksha said. “These investors have strategic relevance and add immense value to our business.”

m.Paani’s product uses machine learning technology, powered by Google Cloud, to empower more than 60 million family-owned local businesses in India by providing them with an online store front. The vast majority of local retailers are not digitized in any way; m.Paani’s solution allows them to compete with an app & web store, ability to accept digital payments, create loyalty programs, and much more.

m.Paani, who attended the Launchpad Accelerator in 2019, is now part of a wider community of Launchpad founders and companies that spans almost 400 startups across the world.

mPaani group image

“It’s exciting to watch startups grow, but it’s even more exciting when investment comes through the resources and connections we helped foster as part of the program,” said David McLaughlin, Director of Google Developers Ecosystem team. “We put on strong focus on founder-to-founder interaction in our curriculum, mostly via our Leaders Lab and Growth Lab. We really want to create a wider community of founders who are willing to support each other. To see m.Paani take the next step on the funding ladder through that community showcases one of the many benefits for founders who join us for this accelerator”.

Akanksha, and her team, are excited about how the funds will help scale the offering for local retailers. “The funding will allow us to grow quickly, invest in product and technology, and better serve our retailers. Our retail partners are the backbone of our local economy and culture, and deserve the ability to compete in the digital age. This, more than anything else, is what gets me and our whole team up and excited every morning.”

Want to learn more about Akanksha’s founder journey with m.Paani? Check out her story here.

TheVentureCity and Google Consolidate Miami as a Tech Powerhouse

Google and TheVentureCity logo

  • Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator executes its graduation week for the startups in the second class of the program for Latin America
  • 19 startups from 10 countries will enjoy access to the best that Miami and TheVentureCity have to offer

Miami, December 9, 2019. Once again, the status of Miami as an international tech hub is elevated with TheVentureCity playing host to the final week of Google’s startup acceleration program, Launchpad. The event marks the end of a 10-week immersion that began in Mexico, continued in Argentina, and concludes in South Florida; connecting startups with dedicated support to take their businesses to the next level.

This week, the 9 startups in the Launchpad program will meet with startups in TheVentureCity’s own Growth program. This is an opportunity for them to share experiences, engage with each other and grow. TheVentureCity has invited top venture capitalists (VCs) from around the U.S., Europe, and Latin America as an added benefit for startups on both programs.

“Being able to host this program for startups from across Latin America in Miami feels to me like a dream come true. It is an unparalleled occasion to showcase the amazing work that developers and entrepreneurs are leading in the region”, said Paco Solsona, manager of Google Developers.

For Laura González-Estéfani, CEO and founder of TheVentureCity: “This initiative consolidates Miami as an epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship by bringing together companies that think beyond borders. We believe that talent is evenly distributed around the world, but opportunities are unequal.”

Startups on the Launchpad Accelerator come from a wide span of Latin American countries, including Argentina, México, Colombia, Chile, and El Salvador. The companies graduating this week are: 123Seguro, Al Turing, Apli, DevF, Hugo, Jetty, Jüsto, Odd Industries, and TransparentBusiness. The participating companies from TheVentureCity are: Qempo, Cajero, ComigoSaude, Digital Innovation One, TheFastMind, eMasters, Alba, 1Doc3, Stayfilm and Erudit. While being an international group, these startups represent the talent, diversity, and richness of the continent.

The main benefit of hosting this program in Miami is to diversify thinking in the American tech ecosystem and to keep relevant stakeholders informed about the challenges being faced by startups across the region. This is the second time that Google and TheVentureCity partner up to support startups; last March, we successfully hosted the first-ever Google Developers Launchpad Start, a one-week version of the accelerator program, in Miami.

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About TheVentureCity

TheVentureCity is a new growth and accelerator model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact. Our mission is to make the global entrepreneurial ecosystem more diverse, international and accessible to fair capital. TheVentureCity supports founders with a global mindset to achieve their next big success.

About Google Developers Launchpad

Google Developers Launchpad is a startup accelerator program that empowers the global startup ecosystems to solve the world’s biggest challenges with the best of Google – its people, research, and advanced technologies. Started by you. Accelerated with Google.

Launchpad Accelerator announces startup selections in Africa, Brazil, and India

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Founder of Launchpad Accelerator

For the past six years, Launchpad has connected startups from around the world with the best of Google – its people, network, methodologies, and technologies. We have worked with market leaders in over 40 countries across 6 regional programs (San Francisco, Brazil, Africa, Israel, India, and Tokyo). Launchpad also includes a new program in Mexico announced earlier this year, along with our Indie Games Accelerator and Google.org AI for Social Good Accelerator programs.

We are pleased to announce that the next cohort of startups has been selected for our upcoming programs in Africa, Brazil, and India. We reviewed over 1,000 applications for these programs, and were thoroughly impressed with the quality of startups that indicated their interest. The startups chosen represent those using technology to create a positive impact on key industries in their region and we look forward to supporting them and connecting them with startup ecosystems around the world.

In Africa, we have selected 12 startups from 6 African countries for our 3rd class in this region:

  • 54Gene (Nigeria) – Improving drug discovery by researching the genetically diverse African population
  • Data Integrated Limited (Kenya) – Automating and digitizing SME payments, connecting the street to high finance.
  • Instadiet.me (Egypt) – Connecting patients to credible nutritionists and dietitians to help them maintain a healthy and optimal weight online.
  • Kwara (Kenya) – Providing a rich digital banking platform to established fair lenders such as credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), with an open API to enable and accelerate their inclusion into the formal financial ecosystem.
  • OkHi (Kenya) – A physical addressing platform for emerging markets – on a mission to enable the billions without a physical address to “be included.”
  • PAPS (Senegal) – Logistics startup focused on last mile delivery and domestic market, with strong client care orientation, allowing live tracking, intelligent adresses system and automatic dispatch.
  • ScholarX (Nigeria) – Connecting high potential students with funding opportunities to help them access an education
  • Swipe2pay (Uganda) – A web and mobile payments solution that democratizes electronic payments for SMEs by making it easy for them to accept mobile as a mode of payment.
  • Tambua Health Inc. (Kenya) – Turning a normal smartphone into a powerful, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Tuberculosis and Pneumonia. It uses a cough sound acoustic signature, symptoms, risk factors, and clinical information to come up with a diagnostic report.
  • Voyc.ai (South Africa) – A CX Research Platform that helps companies understand their customers by turning their customer research into insights, profiles, and customer journey maps.
  • WellaHealth (Nigeria) – A pharmacy marketplace for affordable, high-quality disease care driven by artificial intelligence starting with malaria.
  • Zelda Learning (South Africa) – Providing free online career guidance for students looking to enter university and linking them to funding and study opportunities.

In India, for our 2nd class, we are focused on seed to growth-stage startups that operate across a number of sectors using ML and AI to solve for India-specific problems:

  • Opentalk Pte Ltdan app that connects people around the world to become better speakers and make new friends.
  • THBHelping healthcare providers drive full potential value from their clinical data
  • Perceptiviti Data SolutionsAn AI platform for Insurance claim Ffagging, payment integrity, fraud, and abuse management
  • DheeYantraCognitive conversational AI for Indian vernacular languages
  • KaleidofinCustomized financial solutions that combine multiple financial products such as savings, credit, and insurance in intuitive ways to help customers achieve their financial goals.
  • FinancePeerA P2P lending company that connects lenders with borrowers online.
  • SmartCoinA go-to app for providing credit access to the vastly underserved lower- and middle-income segments through advanced AI/ML models.
  • HRBOTUsing AI and Video Analytics to find employable candidates in tier 2 & 3 cities remotely.
  • Savera.aiRemotely mapping roofs to reflect the attractiveness of a solar power plant for your roof, followed by chatbot based support to help you learn about solar (savings, RoI, reviews etc.) and connections to local service providers.
  • Adiuvo DiagnosticsRapid wound infection assessment and management device.

In Brazil, we have chosen startups that are applying ML in interesting ways and are solving for local challenges.

  • Accountfy – SaaS platform focused on FP&A tools. Users upload trial balances and financial statements are easily built through accounting figures. harts, alerts, reports and budgets can be created too.
  • Agilize – An online accounting firm that provides annual savings of $1,500, predictability, and transparency to small-sized business through a friendly platform and massive automation.
  • Blu365 – An innovative, data-driven, customer-centric debt negotiation platform that has been transforming positively the relationship between companies and customers .
  • Estante Mágica – Estante Mágica is a free platform that, in partnership with schools, turn students into real authors, making children protagonists of their own stories.
  • Gesto – GESTO is a health tech consulting firm that uses data science to intelligently manage health insurance.
  • Rebel -A data, tech, and analytics-driven platform whose mission is to lead the transformation of the financial services market in Brazil by empowering consumers.
  • SmarttBot – Empowering individuals with the best automated investment tools in order to give them edge against bigger investors and financial institutions and improve their chances of making money.
  • Social Miner – A technology able to predict if an e-commerce visitor will buy or not and create experiences based on the consumer journey phases.

Applications are still open for Launchpad Accelerator Mexico – if you are a LATAM-based startup using technology to solve big challenges for that region, please apply to the program here.

As with all of our previous regional classes, these startups will benefit from customized programs, access to partners and mentors on the ground, and Google’s support and dedication to their success.

Stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter, as well as The Launchpad Blog.