Seven South Florida-based startups are among the 50 recipients from across the US of $100,000 in cash as part of the $5 million Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund. The new fund, announced earlier this year, provides promising Latino-led startups non-equity cash awards to help fuel their businesses.
The goal is to increase economic opportunity for promising Latino startup founders in the US, who receive a disproportionately low percentage of investment – just over 2% of all venture capital in 2021. Recipients of the funds also will get programming and support from Google, mentorship from technical and business experts, and access to free mental health therapy. Another benefit: Being part of this new community of early-stage founders.
“I hope the launch of our inaugural Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund not only catalyzes the growth of these incredible Latino-led startups, but also inspires other Latino entrepreneurs, and ultimately generates wealth within the community,” said Daniel Navarro, US Marketing Lead for Google for Startups, in a statement.
We’ve previously reported on of the winners: Storybook, founded by husband and wife Francisco Cornnejo and Daniela Vega (pictured above), which was announced as the first winner from Florida during the eMerge Americas conference. Storybook is an app that combines infant massage and relaxation techniques with bedtime stories and music to help families bond, connect, relax, and sleep better. (Read our Refresh spotlight here.)
Now here are the other six recipients:
Coally, based in Fort Lauderdale and led by Andrés Joya, is an on-demand platform that connects qualified young professionals in marketing and web development areas with companies and standardizes deliverables through a set of step-by-step instructions provided by the platform.. “The bulk of Google’s $100K contribution will be invested in improving Coally’s machine learning model, front (UIUX), and backend,” Joya says.
Moneta Tech, founded by Alejandro A. Alvarez and based in Miami, aims to be the final frontier between the fiat and digital currency by enabling cash consumers to digitally save their spare change in the cryptocurrency of choice, says Alvarez. “With the support we will get from Google, it is going to transform how we go to market and land partnerships with prestigious franchises.”
Navigate Accelerator, founded by Pedro Sostre, is a Miami-based early-stage accelerator program that utilizes a subscription-based marketplace business model to provide entrepreneurs with a Startup Toolkit software platform, connect them to trained advisors, and provide structure to create effective, lasting relationships. “Their support will be critical in helping us reach our next milestones and having a major impact in our space,” says Sostre.
People Clerk, based in Miami and founded by Camila Lopez, helps its customers navigate the small claims court process for disputes under $10K such as security deposits, auto accidents, and contracts. Its mission: to create a more accessible legal system for those of different social, economic, or cultural backgrounds. “With the support from Google to accelerate our growth, we can start to shift the current status quo and bring access to the legal system to millions of consumers,” Lopez says.
Pivot, founded by Alvaro de Jesus, is a B2B Marketplace that matches the right brands to the right brick and mortar store. The Miami-based startup’s direct-to-retail approach allows stores to stock their businesses without purchasing inventory and it gives brands full visibility into their performance. “The Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund gives us the opportunity to be part of a community of Latino founders facing similar challenges,” de Jesus said.
Wisecut, founded by brothers Ivo and Vicente Machado, is a Miami-based startup providing an SaaS platform for streamlining video editing using AI and Voice Recognition to automatically create compelling videos. Machado says, “We’ve been delivering quality and innovation for thousands of video creators and educators, and we are stoked that it’s getting noticed by great partners like Google. Our vision is that everyone will be able to share their voice through engaging videos and in a few clicks. We hope that Google’s program will help us get closer to that vision.”
There was one other winner from Florida: Diego Sampaio of Orlando-based Globalfy, a one-click solution for global digital entrepreneurs growing an e-commerce or tech company in the United States.
READ MORE ON REFRESH MIAMI:
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Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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