Supporting entrepreneurs worldwide with UP Global

Startups and entrepreneurs lead the way in creating innovative products that improve lives and drive significant economic and social impact. A robust community of entrepreneurs—paired with resources, mentorship and technology—can thrive. That’s why one year ago we launched Google for Entrepreneurs, which today supports more than 70 organizations that are champions for entrepreneurship in more than 115 countries around the world.

Today we’re announcing a new partnership with UP Global which will double their impact over the next three years. UP is currently active in 500 cities globally and with our partnership aims to be in 1,000 cities by 2016. We’ll expand our existing work together to grow Startup Weekend, now powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, activating entrepreneurial communities and helping them launch companies. We’re also teaming up to power Startup Digest and NEXT to connect entrepreneurs with training and event resources—all through UP Global.

A tidal wave of startups is sweeping the globe. Connect with us on Google+ and join the movement. Here’s to the entrepreneurs!

Igniting a new network: Meet our Tech Hub partners

Over the past few years, tech hubs have sprung up in cities across the globe, making it possible to start a high-growth company from almost anywhere, not just London or Silicon Valley. Tech hubs help make that happen—providing desks for entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams, mentorship and educational opportunities for talented developers, and a vibrant community for innovative startups.

We started Google for Entrepreneurs to help foster entrepreneurship in communities around the world. Through our work in more than 100 countries, we’ve been incredibly impressed with the catalyzing impact that tech hubs have had: helping startups grow, and creating jobs in local communities in the process. So today we’re announcing a Tech Hub Network with seven partners, initially located in North America. 1871 (Chicago), American Underground (Durham), Coco (Minneapolis), Communitech (Waterloo), Galvanize (Denver), Grand Circus (Detroit) and Nashville Entrepreneur Center (Nashville) are all top notch spaces fueling entrepreneurship. We believe these hubs have pioneered a new approach to launching a business, and it’s our mission to help support them.

We’re partnering to create a strong network, providing each hub with financial support alongside access to Google technology, platforms and mentors, and ensuring that entrepreneurs at these hubs have access to an even larger network of startups. We’re excited to exchange ideas and connect hubs with each other and with Google to have an even bigger economic impact on local communities.

Campus for Moms: Helping women entrepreneurs in Israel

Since opening our Campus Tel Aviv last December, we’ve hosted thousands of promising entrepreneurs and developers at events, workshops, lectures and hackathons. Many of these entrepreneurs refer to their start-ups as their “baby,” and it’s easy to understand why. Like having a newborn, a start-up is super-exciting, yet the days are hectic and the nights are... sleepless.

What’s really inspiring (and just a little bit crazy) is that some people do both at the same time. Take, for example, Israeli entrepreneur Hilla Brenner, who raised $5 million for her first start-up when she was nine months pregnant. Earlier this year, I had the chance to meet Hilla and we began talking about how juggling work and kids doesn’t leave much time to invest in learning and developing new skills. We also discussed how maternity leave can be one of the few times when women can stop and think about their career. We asked ourselves: what could we do to help women with young children get access to self-development and career support and, in doing so, to help more women become tech entrepreneurs?

Campus for Moms is a baby-friendly start-up school for new moms, run by Google in partnership with Yazamiyot, a networking group for Israeli women entrepreneurs. The first course, which ended this week, included nine sessions led by successful entrepreneurs, investors, technology experts and others. The sessions covered personal success stories, finance, legal and presentation skills, and tech knowledge, like cloud computing. We arranged mattresses, bean bags and diaper-changing facilities so that the moms could take care of their young ones during the sessions. Four babies were born during the course and one new mum returned to the program less than a week after giving birth!

At the end of the course, participants presented their initiatives to venture capital funds and the course speakers. Their ideas are exciting—including a platform for teachers to create apps for their students, a fashion-tech meet up to encourage cooperation between local fashion-related start-ups, a 2G mobile ecommerce gateway for emerging markets and a bunch of other great initiatives.

The participants are continuing to develop their skills: two of the start-ups have joined the Campus Tel Aviv “Launch Pad” program, an intensive week-long bootcamp for entrepreneurs, and another will be visiting Campus London to meet with U.K.-based entrepreneurs.
The first course of “Campus for Moms” is over, but we’re gearing up for another course in October. We're also looking forward to sharing the tools and best practices we've developed at Campus for Moms with others, so they can help entrepreneurial moms in their communities. After all, whether they’re moms or not, entrepreneurs can always do with a helping hand with their “baby.”

Two weeks in Silicon Valley: Startups from many nations join together at Blackbox

Entrepreneurs have transformative power to build great products and companies that change our communities and improve our lives. With Google for Entrepreneurs, we’re working in more than 100 countries, in cities from Raleigh to Ramallah, Krakow to Cairo, to fuel the global entrepreneurial movement.

One of our goals is to connect our thriving partner network of entrepreneur communities worldwide with one another, and back to Silicon Valley. Today we’re taking another step in that direction with a partnership with Blackbox, a global startup accelerator.

Blackbox Connect brings founders from top accelerators around the world to take part in a two-week, fully immersive program where they live and work at the “Blackbox Mansion” in Silicon Valley, collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, experts and executives from the Silicon Valley community. They then return home to their native countries to scale their big ideas.

Google for Entrepreneurs is teaming up to power Blackbox Connect’s summer 2013 program. Several of our partners around the world have each nominated a top startup from their program, and eight startups have just arrived for the program kickoff today. Over the course of the next two weeks, they’ll receive pitch coaching, hear from over a dozen founders and investors, pitch their companies to the Silicon Valley community, even cook and dine together.

We’d like to congratulate the selected teams:

These companies represent the thriving startup communities growing around the world. For example, EgzoTech is a Polish startup designing robots to help patients doing muscle recovery. They've developed robots integrated with video games to motivate patients to test and improve muscle control. You can check our EgzoTech's product video and learn more about all the selected startups on YouTube.

We’ve already seen the power that individual communities have in elevating successful entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to see the impact of bringing these communities together to live, learn and share insights. Stay tuned for more updates this week on our Google+ page.

Happy birthday Campus London. You’ve grown up so fast.

Just over 12 months ago, Campus London opened its doors to the young, upcoming London tech startup community. I’d like to think we always knew it would succeed, but I don’t think any of us expected the level of engagement and enthusiasm we’ve seen in year one.

In just 365 days of operation, Campus now has more than 10,000 members, permanently houses more than 100 young companies and has hosted more than 850 events, attracting more than 60,000 guests through the door. From individual entrepreneurs looking to explore their back-of-a-napkin idea to global venture fund managers, there’s something for everyone in the London tech scene at Campus, and the vibe is electric.

We asked Campus members to provide their feedback and outlook on year one, and their response has been overwhelmingly positive. Campus-based companies are growing and creating jobs. One in four are already looking to find bigger office spaces to house their growing teams. We’ve also seen that the success of the London technology startup community as a whole has mirrored that of Campus.

Campus members are younger than the average Tech City entrepreneur, and with initiatives like Women@Campus, increasingly more female entrepreneurs are signing up. Campus is also truly international, with 22 nationalities working, interacting and attending the many mentoring sessions and classes we and our Google volunteers run every day.

Looking ahead to the next year and beyond, we’re offering even more: more globally-acclaimed speakers, a new Campus EDU education programme offering mentorship from Googlers, inspirational talks from thought leaders like Guy Kawasaki, Eric Schmidt and Jimmy Wales, and a curriculum of classes to develop the skills young startups need to build successful businesses.

Google started as a two-person startup in a garage in California. We’re looking to provide the best possible garage to our 10,000 members every day. And so far, all indicators show that Campus is one of the most exciting places in the world for technological innovation.

Helping entrepreneurs take the “NEXT” step

Entrepreneurs around the world tell us that they want to launch new businesses—but that before they do, they need to make sure they have the skills to make those companies as successful as possible. Starting today, a new partnership with our friends at Startup Weekend will help these entrepreneurs realize that dream.

Startup Weekend NEXT, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, will enable any entrepreneur to register for a comprehensive, five-week course developed by renowned entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank. The curriculum, built around customer development and in-person interaction, helps entrepreneurs validate and modify their business models. And it lets them sit next to and work with established entrepreneurs and peers who’ve experienced the exact same challenges they face.

Active in a number of cities now, Startup Weekend NEXT will expand globally over the course of 2013. Using Google+ Hangouts, NEXT experts will train local instructors from Reykjavik to Ramallah, enabling entrepreneurs all over the world to launch and build their businesses.

We were excited to officially launch this partnership at Campus London, with Steve Blank joining us live over Google+ Hangout to kick things off. Campus opened a year ago this month and now has 10,000 members, is home to more than 100 young businesses and has hosted more than 800 entrepreneurship events.

We’ve been energized by the incredible momentum and connections that are happening within Campus’ walls and through our partners’ programs—including Startup Weekend’s, which runs its European operations from Campus London. Together, we look forward to equipping entrepreneurs with the skills they need to start and scale great companies.

The Seoul of a startup

Entrepreneurship is alive in South Korea. Their tradition of outstanding math and science education has fostered a strong developer culture as well as a thriving design community.

Over the past year, the Google for Entrepreneurs team has partnered with Global K-Startup, a competition aimed at finding and supporting the next generation of international-ready startups. The competition received 246 applications, and the 30 top teams were incubated and mentored. In October, venture capitalists from around the world gathered to hear pitches from the top teams and select six to go on a trip to Silicon Valley and London. The Google for Entrepreneurs team helped select the finalists, and was thrilled to host the winners at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. and at Campus London. Check out the winners:

  • BrainGarden - vocabulary learning mobile application with social game feature
  • Whatugot - social networking mobile application for collection and sharing favorites
  • WATCHA - movie recommendation application with personal collection gallery features
  • KnowRe - innovative adaptive learning solution focused on math education
  • Alarmmon - mobile gaming alarm application with various character branding
  • Classting - web/mobile application for classroom management and inter-class connection and collaboration

2012 Global K-startup winners visiting Google campus in November

Starting in 2013, we’re growing our support of South Korean startups with the help of the technology innovation hub AppCenter, the Kstartup accelerator program, and the Korean Communications Commission. Together, we’ll bring tech entrepreneurs more community events, workshops, and contests. We’re also improving the Android and Google TV device testing library. To kick things off, Kstartup is opening applications for its new class of startups. Apply today or find out more about upcoming events and opportunities with AppCenter and Google for Entrepreneurs.