Canadian startups can now apply to Google’s startup accelerator programs for Black and women founders.
Applications for Black Founders close July 9, while applications for Women Founders accelerator close July 19.
The two accelerator programs are part of Google’s effort to support more business leaders from underrepresented communities. This represents the second year the Women Founders accelerator has been open to Canadian startups, as it accepted five Canadian companies to its first cohort last fall. This will mark the first year the Black Founders accelerator is available to Canada-based applicants.
“Founders from diverse communities remain underrepresented in the tech startup ecosystem because they often lack the resources required to launch their business,” wrote Ashley Francisco, head of Google Canada’s startup developer ecosystem, in a blog post announcing the news.
“But the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified structural barriers and disproportionately impacted underrepresented groups,” said Francisco.
Google launched its first Canadian accelerator in Kitchener-Waterloo in February 2020, disclosing plans to open three new offices in Canada and hire 3,500 people across the country by 2022. The US tech giant has since launched five accelerator programs for Canadian startups, including Cloud, Voice AI, Climate Change, Black Founders, and Women Founders.
According to Google, its 10-week virtual programs for Black and women founders are designed as “bootcamps that leverage Google’s programs, products, people and technology to help these businesses reach their goals.” Both equity-free programs serve seed to Series A-stage tech startups based in North America.
Google plans to select 10 to 12 startups per cohort. The company said that the chosen women and Black-run businesses will be provided with resources “in an effort to address longstanding roadblocks that may have previously impacted their access to mentors, learning opportunities and capital.”
In addition to mentorship and technical project support, Google said both programs will include deep dives and workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development for founders, and hear from a roster of speakers and facilitators “who deliver both technical and nontechnical programming through the lens of their communities.”
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński via Unsplash