American Underground, Google for Startups Launch Applications for Fourth Annual Black Founders Exchange

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Durham-based Program Will Address Unique Challenges Black Founders Face

American Underground, Google for Startups Launch Applications for Fourth Annual Black Founders Exchange

American Underground and Google for Startups have announced the application window and deadline for the fourth annual Black Founders Exchange.

Black Founders Exchange, a week-long immersion program of curated content, mentorship and community, will accept applications for the program between June 19 and July 10 through the American Underground website. The program will run September 22-27 at the American Underground in Durham.

Working with Google for Startups to pull expertise from their global partner network, the American Underground has fine tuned the Black Founders Exchange program to focus on supporting the unique challenges Black Founders face, particularly in the early stages of business via three key focus areas:

  • Content: Black Founders Exchange provides content curated and designed to solidify the strong foundation necessary to build sustainable, revenue producing companies.
  • Community: Black Founders Exchange is the perfect opportunity to build with, stand with, and learn from top Black Founders from across the Western Hemisphere.
  • Connections: Black Founders Exchange and Google for Startups have curated a network of startup mentors and global experts to help take participating companies to the next level.

The 10 companies selected in 2019 will join 32 alumni companies. Of those companies, 94 percent are still operational. Alumni companies have also received high-profile funding. RewardStock was featured on Shark Tank and Partake Foods received funding from Jay-Z's venture fund.

“We’ve seen Black Founders Exchange teams realize tremendous success after graduating from the program and taking the lessons learned and the connections forged to grow their businesses,” says Molly Demarest, general manager, American Underground. “This year, we’ve built upon the successes of past years to create a phenomenal week-long program that will set participating companies up for success.”

Eligible companies who wish to apply should meet these general requirements:

  • Black Founders located in North, Central, South America, or the Caribbean
  • Black Founder must be an original founding member of the company
  • Must have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Must have beta or paying customers
  • Must be building a company with high-growth potential
  • Software, Consumer Product, Internet of Things, Analytics, Big Data, etc.
  • Preference given for revenue generating startups

Interested companies can apply between June 19 and July 10 here.

About American Underground

The American Underground -- one of eleven Google for Startups tech hubs in North America -- is a unique combination of offerings, including a digital platform connecting local talent and startups across North Carolina, curated content and relevant programming, a network of experts and a wide variety of tailored work spaces. Its physical space now encompasses close to 125,000 SF at five locations (four in downtown Durham, one in downtown Raleigh) hosting more than 325 startups of all sizes. All of this and a commitment to democratizing access to the region’s burgeoning startup ecosystem make the American Underground the Triangle’s front door to the resources that young companies, their founders and employees need.

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Greg Behr
GBW Strategies
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