The 76 recipients of the $5M Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, which provides promising Black founders from across the country non-dilutive cash awards to fuel their businesses, were announced today. In Oregon, Portland-based startup Workfrom and founder Darren Buckner received $50,000 as part of this fund.
The fund was announced in June as part of Google’s company-wide racial equality commitments. Unlike equity dependent funds, non-dilutive cash awards allow founders to make meaningful updates to their business with no strings attached. These founders will also receive the best of Google’s technical resources, people, and best practices through future Google for Startups programming.
Darren Buckner founded Workfrom in 2014 as a platform connecting mobile workers and spaces to work. Now, this funding supports Workfrom as the company builds the infrastructure to create cafes in the cloud. These digital spaces online allow people to virtually work in proximity to others so they can be more productive and feel less isolated.
“The talent and ingenuity represented in this group of exceptional entrepreneurs is powerful and inspiring.
"It’s simply an honor to have even been considered, and we are grateful to have been selected as one of the recipients of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund,” says Darren Buckner, founder of Workfrom. “Receiving this great recognition positively impacts our ability to bring our latest product to market and immediately create value for our customers at a time when the sheer number of groups working apart is massive. This and future funding, coupled with the access to technical resources and programming Google is providing, increases our chances of success and helps sustain our team’s relentless drive towards our mission to make remote and independent work more social and more accessible.”
“We are committed to helping Black founders who have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who are disproportionately locked out of access to the funding they need to succeed,” says Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups US. “By combining cash awards with mentorship and programming, we hope to help create a more level playing field for these founders, who are building amazing companies and making an impact on their communities.”
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.