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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Teams Selected for American Underground’s Second Annual Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange: Black Founders

October ‘Boot Camp’ Sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs, Lincoln Financial Group

Press Release – (Durham, NC) – September 11, 2017 – Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange: Black Founders, a one-week intensive “boot camp” for Black founders of high growth potential startups, October 8-13, has selected its 2017 class of companies.

The teams selected focus on software, consumer products, big data, analytics or IoT include:

  1. Loanable (Durm) – Loanable helps you create friends and family loans online and repay them easily with auto-draft.
  2. 2020 Shift (NYC) – We train professionals on the skills they need to find careers they love in digital media and technology.
  3. Please Assist Me (Nashville) – Please Assist Me is a tech based comprehensive home assistant service.
  4. DisputeDoc (ATL) – First automation platform for fixing credit and improving credit scores.
  5. Reciprocare (DC) – ReciproCare helps senior care agencies and facilities find caregivers and helps caregivers find the best jobs for their unique needs.
  6. Partake Foods (Jersey City) – Partake Foods is a line of snacks that are free of the top 12 allergens. They’re Non GMO, Kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and made with simple, whole food ingredients.
  7. Ilerasoft (Cincinnati) – Ilerasoft’s software centralizes a health system’s equipment data on one platform to improve FDA safety recalls. We have built a better way to link and match FDA safety recalls to relevant hospital inventory to identify defective medical equipment earlier and more accurately. The current method is inaccurate and can takes over 3 weeks to identify and remediate the right defective equipment, leading to 50,000 preventable injuries. Our solution reduces identification time to 1 day.
  8. ScrapSports (ATL) – ScrapSports is the #1 platform for athletes, coaches, and fans to build their brand, share their story, and cement their legacy on the web.
  9. Zyrobotics (ATL) – Zyrobotics makes interactive STEM tools and learning games for early childhood education that are accessible, adaptive, and cloud-connected.
  10. Civic Eagle (Minneapolis) – We help government and policy organizations learn, engage, and activate the people they serve through a suite of inexpensive software tools.

Five of the 10 teams belong to organizations within the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network, including TechSquare Labs, COCO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center and American Underground.

The program, hosted by American Underground, Google for Entrepreneurs and Lincoln Financial Group, will focus primarily on:

  • Preparation for an angel/seed stage round raise (less than $750k)
  • Knowledge sharing around the unique challenges that face Black founders
  • Pairing founders with a Thurgood Marshall College Fund intern during the program to support execution

Startups will also have one-on-one meetings with investors focused on raising seed capital, network building with larger, corporate/strategic partners, and 5+ hours of direct mentoring from an area expert.

Quote from Adam Klein, chief strategist, American Underground

“Last year, the inaugural Black Founders edition of Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange was a huge success. We saw half of all of the participating companies in 2016 receive funding and were better prepared to tackle the unique challenges facing Black startup executives.”

Quote from Nicole Froker, Partner Engagement Manager, Google for Entrepreneurs

“Together with American Underground, we are deeply committed to supporting the growth and success of underrepresented founders. The Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange program is ​a unique opportunity to help bridge the gap between founders seeking funding with mentors and investors, and we saw great success from last year’s program. We are proud to partner with American Underground once again to advance this effort.”

Quote from William Crowder. managing partner, 42 Venture Partners

“There are many groups and places touting their interest in inclusion and diversity but I’ve always been biased towards supporting the efforts of those that are willing to take action as well. Durham is one such community and the American Underground and Google’s commitment are game changers. This experience for startup founders is exactly what is needed to measurably move the needle forward with the ultimate goal of building a more inclusive and diverse tech ecosystem.”

Quote from Harold Hughes, Founder & CEO, Bandwagon (2016 participant)

“The program directly impacted the success we’ve realized in the last six months. Not only was I able to make connections with black founders from across the country who are dealing with the same challenges that I face, but I was able to tap into a group of supporters in the American Underground team that really opened doors.”

About American Underground

The American Underground — one of twelve Google for Entrepreneurs tech hubs in North America — launched seven years ago in the basement of an old tobacco warehouse at the American Tobacco Historic District. It now encompasses close to 125,000 sq ft of space at three locations in downtown Durham as well as a strategic partnership with open source leader Red Hat to offer an office in Silicon Valley. Founding partners include Google for Entrepreneurs, Lincoln Financial Group, Coastal Credit Union, Duke University, Fidelity Labs, and Capitol Broadcasting Company.

About Google for Entrepreneurs

Google for Entrepreneurs provides financial support and the best of Google’s resources to dozens of coworking spaces and community programs across 125 countries. We also create Campuses: physical hubs where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and build companies that will change the world. To learn more about Google for Entrepreneurs, visit or follow us on Twitter (@GoogleForEntrep).

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