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Bandwagon will receive non-dilutive cash awards as part of Google's commitment to support promising Black founders

Google for Startups​ today announced the 76 recipients of the $5M Google for Startups B​lack Founders Fund, which provides promising Black Founders from across the country non-dilutive cash awards to fuel their businesses. South Carolina native Harold Hughes received $100,000 for his startup​ Bandwagon (a Founder Institute Greenville portfolio company).

Greenville is a community that fosters innovation,” says Greenville Mayor Knox White. “We are thrilled that Google recognizes the potential of our local startup, Bandwagon, and has provided them with the opportunity to grow.

The Google for Startups Black Founders 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. In line with Google for Startups mission, these founders will also receive the best of Google’s technical resources, people, and best practices, through future Google for Startups programming.

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 Google for Startups 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.

Bandwagon is an identity infrastructure company that helps customers transparently aggregate, manage, and store valuable consumer identity information. Their mission is to reshape how fans experience live events worldwide. Bandwagon’s emphasis on Glass Box Technology Solutions has helped them navigate the COVID-19 impact on the live event industry while keeping consumer privacy data integrity at the forefront of their work.

The funding and support from Google is instrumental in a number of ways for us," says Harold Hughes, Founder and CEO of Bandwagon. “In a practical sense, it allows us to bring on another software engineer which is helping us create a job for a talented person in the midst of a pandemic. From a symbolic point of view, selecting Bandwagon as a recipient of this funding reinforces the idea that you can truly build anywhere.

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.


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Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $950M in funding, and building products people love across over 200 cities worldwide.

See the most recent news from our Grads at FI.co/news, or learn more about their stories at FI.co/journey

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