Since joining Google almost twelve years ago, it’s been a personal mission of mine to seek new ways for Google to provide access and opportunity to the Latino community. Most recently I’ve been focused on how we can provide this to the Latino startup community, where gaining access to funding — the necessary fuel to grow their companies – is a constant struggle. Latino-led businesses are the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses, but as an aggregate they only receive 2% of total U.S. venture capital funding, despite comprising 20% of the U.S. population.
This disparity is why we committed $7 million last year to help Latino founders grow their businesses and support the organizations already nurturing communities of Latino-led startups. We allocated $5 million of that funding to our inaugural Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, and today at the UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Antonio, we revealed the 50 Latino founders who will each receive $100,000 in cash awards. They’ll also receive hands-on support and mentorship from Googlers across the company, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, and access to therapy sessions to use as needed for any support they may need emotionally and professionally.