Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange: Black Founders

Empowering Black Founders with Tools and Access to Capital 

American Underground is partnering with Google for Entrepreneurs and Lincoln Financial Group to present the 2nd Annual Exchange geared towards Black founders.


“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."

- Harold Hughes, Founder & CEO, Bandwagon

Black Founders Exchange 2016


The Exchange is a week-long immersion program focused on addressing the documented funding gap for startups led by Black founders.  After last year’s Exchange, half of the participants raised capital and every participant recommended the program to fellow founders.

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Preparation for an angel/seed stage round raise (less than $750k)

Engagement in knowledge sharing around the unique challenges that face Black founders

Pairing with a Thurgood Marshall College Fund intern during the program to support execution



Focus on Software, Consumer Product, Big Data, Analytics, and Internet of Things

Must have a prototype or minimum viable product

Have conducted customer interviews or have beta/paying customers

Participating founder is an original founding member of the company

Preference for startups generating revenue



Application period is July 26-August 11, 2017. Selected companies will be notified by September 1, 2017 and the program begins October 8, 2017 and runs to October 13, 2017.

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Entrepreneurship is in Durham’s blood. From our roots as Black Wall Street, to Research Triangle Park's founding, to American Underground's rise as North Carolina's preeminent tech hub--Durham is what CNBC calls ‘The Startup Hub of the South’. 

American Underground is one of the pioneers in inclusive innovation with nearly 30 percent of its startups led by women and 28 percent led by founders of color. The week will culminate with Durham’s annual celebration of Black Wall Street Homecoming which welcomes venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and others to Durham.