Google is backing these 20 startups to help improve the world with AI

A Google-funded program is helping 20 startups from Black and Latino entrepreneurs that use AI to tackle everyday problems.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Google logo in New York City Pier 57 location
Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

In 2020, Google launched its Google for Startups Founders Funds, providing equity-free cash awards to Black and Latino entrepreneurs. In 2024, all 20 recipients of the funds are connected to the hottest technology of the moment -- artificial intelligence (AI).

This year's winners use AI to help solve real-world problems, from preventing wildfires to reducing home energy costs and usage.

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The founders will receive $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards and $100,000 in Google Cloud credits. Money aside, the founders will also receive other help to grow their businesses, such as mental health resources and mentorship from Google experts across AI and sales. 

Google said in its announcement that the company created the Founders Fund to help "level the playing field" for Black and Latino entrepreneurs who have difficulty accessing early capital, as racial equity is linked to economic opportunity.  

"AI can enable startups to build transformative products and solve complex challenges, but founders need access to capital to realize this potential," Maya Kulycky, VP of strategy and operations at Google Research, said in a statement. "Through the Google for Startups Founders Funds, we are proud to invest in promising Black and Latino founders who are leveraging AI technology to help address some of today's most pressing issues."

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Here is the full list of winning startups: Akeptus, Beta Financial Services, Bountiful, Cambio AI, EdVisorly, Elis, Hacware, Hire Henry, Hue, Improving Aviation, InOrbit, JustAir Solutions, Maverick, Pagedip, Raincoat, Sensagrate, Sortile, TackleAI, Trustible, and Waterplan.

You can read more about each startup on Google's website, where you can also learn how to get involved with Google for Startups programs, including accelerators, academies, and funds.

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