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Allen & Overy marks its third year of supporting the Google Black Founders fund

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For the third consecutive year, Allen & Overy (A&O) will provide training on critical legal matters and offer pro bono legal surgeries for 10 Black-led UK technology start-ups, selected as part of the Google for Startups’ Black Founders Fund.

The £3.3 million (USD4mn) Black Founders Fund provides financial support and mentorship to Black-led startups in Europe. With a focus on companies who are harnessing technology to pioneer solutions to the world’s challenges, the Black Founders Fund aims to address the funding gap and systemic barriers that Black entrepreneurs face in accessing capital, networks and resources to grow their businesses. Only 0.25% of VC funding went to Black founders prior to the fund’s launch in 2021.

The selected UK startups are using technology to create innovative solutions which reimagine the design process, address the country’s hospitality workforce shortage by connecting people to Living Wage roles, and help to make renting more affordable. Among the 10 UK startups selected are:

  • GRAVITY SKETCH – a virtual 3D design platform revolutionising the way we bring ideas to life and fundamentally changing the way 3D design is done today
  • HUSMUS – a new kind of fair and transparent renters’ insurance for how we rent in the modern world, covering tenant risk to help make renting more affordable
  • MYOMASTER – enabling everyday athletes to improve their performance and prevent injury
  • SLINGER – a platform that addresses the UK’s hospitality worker shortage by connecting the UK’s 10.3 million frontline workers to Living Wage opportunities

A quarter of the 40 startups that have been selected to take part in this year’s programme are UK-based, testament to the UK’s bustling startup ecosystem and the future potential of the country’s tech sector. The funding will provide the businesses with the capital needed to take their ventures to the next level and expand to new markets, supercharging economic opportunities and job creation.

We have been involved in the Fund for the past three years and it has been great to work with these innovative young companies, helping them to navigate the legal process and troubleshoot and advise them on legal matters. We are committed to helping to drive equity of opportunity for Black founders, and hope that by supporting the participating startups, they will, in turn, inspire more Black entrepreneurs to pursue their ambitions and help bring real change to the tech ecosystem.

Will Samengo-Turner, partner and co-head of Allen & Overy's EMEA technology practice

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