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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Google for Startups: Amplifying the voices of underrepresented founders

Gold Honor in Diversity & Inclusion


A fourth-generation Mexican-American LGBTQIA+ woman in Fresno, CA, creating thousands of tech jobs in rural communities.

A Nigerian woman using blockchain and AI to power an app and mobile blood bank where it's needed most.

Black founders in Atlanta proving the startup ecosystem stretches well beyond Silicon Valley.

Eleven founders across the globe working toward the Sustainable Development Goals, using tech and innovation to create a more diverse, equitable, and healthy planet for all.

Recognizing that the best ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, Google for Startups is built upon the commitment to lift up and amplify underrepresented founders, in every corner of the globe. In practice, it means Google is building a community, sharing its platform, and providing resources, tools, and funds that help startups move forward.

To meet Google’s goal of building, nurturing and growing positive relationships among the brand and the global founder community - and specifically, underrepresented founders - our three objectives include:

Strategy and Execution

Google for Startups’ social strategy has three guiding principles: be helpful, be direct, and be conveners. The content framework is rooted in a founder-first mindset with founders and their stories as the heroes, and Google as a supporting character.

Knowing we needed to reach a highly-diverse audience, we recognized a one-size-fits-all approach would not work. An in-depth social analysis, focusing both on existing Google for Startups followers, and the founder audience at large, informed a comprehensive understanding of our target audience, their behavior on social, and their needs. We used a data-driven approach to reset the editorial strategy for the brand, and determine the right content mix and cadence across each social channel.

In a white, male-dominated industry, we recognized the unmet needs of underrepresented founders and Google for Startups’ unique position to provide a platform for them to feel seen and heard. We speak directly to those who have been traditionally shut out of the startup ecosystem, and focus specifically on their needs. We also ensure Google for Startups maintains the integrity of its brand across channels while serving up unique, social-first content. With diverse audiences between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, content has to be tailored to fit the needs of each audience across platforms. We also learned through our analysis that while 91% of founders are active on social media, they’re extremely time-poor. Meeting these founders where they are, and giving them what they need in snackable, easy-to-digest formats is critical for the success of the strategy. Leaning into partner communities, whether its Google’s own cross-functional teams or external startup-focused partners like Founder Gym or Veteran Capital, helps validate Google for Startups as a credible brand to share knowledge and build community among founders.

Google’s founder-first stories introduce day-to-day challenges and recognize the struggles (and triumphs) of the founder, but always provide solutions that motivate and inspire the audience in overcoming their own challenges. These human stories--spanning from Fresno to Nigeria and beyond--give Google for Startups’ followers an opportunity to learn from someone who has been in their shoes.

The practical education in Google for Startups’ social content takes the form of sharing Google products and resources tailored to startups and founders, like Launchpad, Primer, Google Campus spaces, Google Cloud for Startups, and more.

We take the expertise and tools from across Google and simplify them into bite-sized social content founders need. This also happens via Live sessions, for example, a conversation between Jewel Burks Solomon, head of Google for Startups U.S. and founder Arlan Hamilton, to discuss funding for underrepresented founders. For whatever unique challenge founders have, there is a Googler or product that can help.

We also speak to hiring and team building. Google is the OG startup and has best practices for establishing and maintaining positive workplace culture, and building teams for the skill sets founders need.

And finally, elevating Google for Startups’ support for partners while leveraging their key voices and networks is paramount in driving awareness and engagement for new communities.


Video for Google for Startups: Amplifying the voices of underrepresented founders

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Methods+Mastery, Google for Startups


Entry Credits