Johnson announces $150K Google grants to minority entrepreneurs in new technology

Mayor Brandon Johnson presented checks from Google to five minority entrepreneurs specializing in new technology on Tuesday.

"You are leaving today as winners because Google is awarding $150,000 grants to help you continue to build your businesses. Congratulations!" Johnson said.

Beyond those cash awards, Google promises $100,000 worth of cloud computing and access to black and Latino therapists to provide emotional support.

A Google executive stated that companies winning these awards in previous years have collectively leveraged Google's investment to attract more than ten times that amount in additional private investments.


"Investors [that founders] had been talking to for quite some time who were hesitant, they said, ‘Oh, Google’s in! Then I'm in.' And founders were able to 10x our money," said Kaylee Emmerich, Google North America.

The entrepreneurs included former data strategists at Chicago Public Schools and graduates of local universities, working on diverse projects such as helping pet owners access veterinarian services remotely and on weekends.

The initiative is part of the $400 million Black Founders Fund and Latino Leaders Fund.