Google expands partnership with Founder Gym to support underrepresented founders

Google for Startups has expanded a partnership with startup training program Founder Gym to better serve underrepresented founders through a new scholarship program.

The program typically charges $2,000 (up from $396 initially)* to participate, but thanks to this partnership with Google for Startups, Google will cover the costs for select scholarship recipients to participate in the six-week program. This partnership is an extension of a pilot program that started last March.

“Google for Startups took an early bet on Founder Gym when we were less than six months old, and as any founder knows, you never forget the first people to say ‘yes’ to your dream,” Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon said in a statement.

“Our team at Founder Gym has used that early vote of confidence to help fuel our efforts to train a groundbreaking number of founders around the world in our inaugural year.”

Founder Gym, co-founded by Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon and Gabriela Zamudio,* unveiled its online platform in November 2017 to support and train underrepresented founders building tech startups.

“We are deeply committed to supporting the growth and success of underrepresented founders,” Google for Startups VP Lisa Gevelber said in a statement. “At Google we know that innovation can come from anywhere, but the resources needed to succeed are not evenly distributed. Founder Gym is truly moving the needle in this space – their unique program delivers the tangible resources necessary to level the playing field for founders and help them grow their businesses.”

Instead of describing it as a school, bootcamp or incubator, Founder Gym describes itself as a topical, six-week training program that covers topics like fundraising, pitching, user growth and problem validation. In Founder Gym’s first 12 months of operation, its cohort has collectively raised $35 million in funding.

“As we enter year two of this journey, we couldn’t be more excited to expand our partnership with Google for Startups, an organization that has a long history of supporting the entrepreneur’s journey,” Schumacher-Hodge Dixon said. “There is no doubt in my mind, this partnership will help us achieve our mission of developing the next generation of great innovators and leaders.”

Update 3:14 pm: This story has been edited to reflect the fact that Zamudio is no longer at Founder Gym. 

This story has also been edited to reflect the current cost of the program, which went into effect in Jan 2018