Google today announced the 50 recipients who have been selected for the first Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, which provides promising Latino-led startups non-equity cash awards to help fuel their businesses. One Detroit-based founder is among the recipients, awarded $100K in cash, $100K in Google Cloud credits, hands-on support from Googlers, access to free mental health therapy, and more.
ToDooly CEO and Founder Sergio Rodriguez-Valenzuela is a social entrepreneur and vocal advocate for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (ED&I) in tech. ToDooly is a technology platform connecting communities and providing access to formative work experiences to young adults through manual labor.
Rodriguez-Valenzuela has been recognized and endorsed by dozens of peers for his public speaking, leadership, and fundraising abilities.
Rodriguez-Valenzuela was one of six to graduate with a degree in Biomedical Physics from Wayne State University in 2017, and the only one who managed to do it debt-free through manual labor; ToDooly is an evolution of his personal experience.
Access to the resources needed to grow one’s business are still not evenly distributed, only 3% of Latino-owned companies ever reach $1 million in revenue. We think catalyzing these incredible startups will make a big difference. Latino-led startups as an aggregate have never received more than 2% of venture capital funding, despite comprising 20% of the population.
The goal of this fund is to increase economic opportunity for promising Latino startup founders in the U.S., who receive a disproportionately low percentage of investment. In an effort to close the opportunity and wealth gap for Latinos, Google has launched a set of programs designed to open the doors to funding, training for the digital economy and empowering communities.
In addition to the $100K in cash, recipients will also receive hands-on programming and support from Google, deep mentorship from technical and business experts, access to free mental health therapy, as well as a vibrant community of fellow founders.
ABOUT GOOGLE FOR STARTUPS Google for Startups works to level the playing field for startup founders and communities to succeed by bringing the best of Google’s products, connections, and best practices to startups. Paired with a deep commitment to create diverse startup communities, many of our offerings are designed specifically to provide underrepresented founders with access to resources and opportunities. We support startups everywhere to build something better. Because when startups succeed, we all succeed.