September 03, 2020
In 2020, just 1% of venture-backed startup founders are Black. Moreover, 80% of venture firms don’t have a single Black investor. These statistics are eye-opening and point to one of the larger issues within the tech industry - the underrepresentation of Black people.
In an effort to help Black-founded businesses accelerate growth, we’ve joined the Tech for Black Founders initiative in their mission to “create an ecosystem that provides resources and technology to empower Black-led businesses and level the playing field for underserved founders.”
This means that in an effort to create change and provide long-lasting support, we’re offering:
- Free access to our Places API Startup Tier (monthly fee waived) for 1 year
- 1 million credits
- Engineering integration support
All companies led by one or more Black founders that have raised less than $30M in venture capital and with fewer than 150 employees are eligible for this program.
One of Foursquare’s core values is to Champion our Differences, because we know that the best products get built by teams that represent the diverse communities they serve. As a tech company, there are many things we can do directly to help create opportunity and open up access, and we’re committed to doing our part.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on small businesses, particularly those that are minority-owned. We launched Peep earlier this year to help mitigate against the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses by creating a tool that helps users stay informed about local services and offerings in their communities."
"Through the kindness of Foursquare, in partnership with the Tech for Black Founders initiative, we’re leveraging the Foursquare Places API for free for the next year to help offer our users rich, accurate data on millions of venues in order to help drive traffic and keep these businesses afloat during this pandemic.”
- Valentine Osakwe, Co-Founder and CEO, Peep Connect
We’ve always known the potential for location technology to make the real world a better, smarter, safer, and more inclusive place, and we’re excited to open up our tech to the next generation of founders to help create equity in the tech industry.
If you’re a Black startup founder who is interested in leveraging location technology to change the world, you can apply by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.