CLLCTVE, the portfolio platform providing creators the tools, resources and network to create the life they want, today announced it was selected to join the second cohort of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, a $10 million initiative designed for Black founders, who are building great companies yet are often locked out of access to the funding that is critical to their success.
Last year, Google for Startups gave 76 Black-led startups up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding, helping them keep their doors open, pay their employees, and focus on building their businesses. With this second $5 million investment in the U.S. Black Founders Fund, 50 more founders across the United States will receive $100,000 in non-dilutive capital, meaning founders do not give up any ownership in their company in exchange for funding. The fund also includes technical support from tools and teams across Google, including as much as $120,000 in donated search Ads from Google.org and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits. Last year, founders who received awards went on to raise more than $50M in capital and 80% of recipients used the funding to create jobs.
CLLCTVE was founded by Syracuse University Alumni Kelsey Davis (Forbes 30U30) and Brendan O’Keeffe, and is one of a select few high potential startups that the Google for Startups team has selected for this year’s nationwide cohort.
“We were looking for growth partners who not only believed in our vision, but who also had the resources to help our team bring this mission to life at this stage. We previously participated in the Google Founders Academy program, which was an incredible introduction to scaling our infrastructure through Google’s vast network of technology products and internal support,” says Davis. “Now we’re excited to deepen our relationship with Google for Startups, and utilize the support to bring our platform’s tools, resources and network to creators across the country.”
“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 funding to Black founders, with no strings attached. Black founders currently receive less than 1 percent of total VC funding,” says Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups US. “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.”
“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,” says Joey Womack, CEO of Goodie Nation.
The idea behind CLLCTVE formed when Davis was freelancing as a videographer and director for brands like Conde Nast, Coca Cola and Puma, all while maintaining a full class schedule - leading to a need for offloaded freelance tasks and projects without wasting time and money finding creators who fit the opportunity. CLLCTVE’s mission is to solve for inefficient talent-sourcing processes, a lack of tools and resources for all creators, and biased hiring systems, by providing the creators with the ideal environment to showcase who they are and what they do, build a nationwide community to grow alongside and connect with brands to get paid doing what they love.
CLLCTVE (Techstars ‘20) is the portfolio platform connecting creators to their next opportunity. Our community-driven technology enables freelancers to build their own world online without creating any code, any website, or any resume - showcasing their creative capabilities and engaging with brands all in one place. With a community of thousands of creators, we have the ability to match brands and creators for opportunities based on brands' needs and creators' interests and experience.
Google for Startups works to level the playing field for startup founders and communities to succeed by bringing the best of Google’s products, connections, and best practices to startups. Paired with a deep commitment to create diverse startup communities, many of our offerings are designed specifically to provide underrepresented founders with access to resources and opportunities. We support startups everywhere to build something better. Because when startups succeed, we all succeed.