A Newark startup will receive $100,000 from Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, which overall will infuse $5 million into 50 startups nationwide, the company announced Sept. 21.
PeduL, founded by Rutgers University student Chisa Egbelu in 2018, is a marketplace that helps corporations diversify their workforce through scholarship programs.
PeduL will receive a non-dilutive $100,000 cash grant, and Egbelu will receive technical and business mentorship from Google employees, $120,000 in Google.org Ads grants and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits.
PeduL is the only New Jersey grant recipient.
Education funding startup PeduL seeks to improve access to higher education and enhance the state’s workforce one scholarship at a time. Get the story!
This is the second $5 million round of Black Founders Fund investments, raising the overall fund total to $10 million. Google selected 76 Black founders in 2020 for awards between $50,000 and $100,000. Since receiving the grants, the initial founders have collectively raised over $50 million in follow-on capital, and approximately 80% used the funds to create new jobs, according to the announcement.
“The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund embodies our mission of helping underrepresented founders grow their businesses. We are excited to continue the fund and contribute non-dilutive funding to Black founders, who currently receive less than 1 percent of total VC funding,” said Jewel Burks Solomon, head of Google for Startups U.S. “We heard loud and clear from the 2020 fund recipients that Google for Startups and Goodie Nation have been crucial to their success not only through funding but through community, mentorship, network connections and technical expertise.”
To be eligible for a grant, founders needed to be nominated by a prior recipient or by a partner in the Google for Startups network, or they must have participated the Black Founders Exchange or other Google for Startups programming. The grants will be distributed directly to founders through Goodie Nation, a Black-led nonprofit organization that will also help grantees develop relationships with influencers, advisors and other supporting individuals.
“Our advisors will be working with the founders to discuss business pain points, offer introductions to customers and investors and provide regular therapy sessions and forums to support recipients emotionally and professionally,” said Joey Womack, CEO of Goodie Nation.
In a statement on the award, Gov. Phil Murphy said Egbelu and PeduL are “the embodiment of New Jersey’s innovative spirit” and that the grant was “well-earned.”