Starting a Business

Our mission at Google for Entrepreneurs is…

To connect global start-up communities to resources and each other so that — together — we can work on the world’s biggest challenges.

How entrepreneurs can leverage our resources…

Visit one of our Campus spaces for start-ups or work with one of the 50 amazing organizations with whom we partner. Our goal is to help start-ups launch and go global via our network of physical spaces, educational programs, and access to Google products.

Google for Entrepreneurs measures our impact by…

Breadth (number of entrepreneurs reached, countries reached), along with the impact of the start-ups we support both directly and via our partnerships. Since we launched our Campuses, for example, we know that start-ups in the Campus community have created over 4,600 jobs and raised $215M in venture funding. They are directly contributing to economic development and we are proud to be supporting them.

Most surprising thing I have learned about entrepreneurship…

While markets may vary dramatically, the ingredients that make entrepreneurs and their start-ups successful are largely universal – clarity of mission, hiring a great team, launching early and iterating.

Lemonade Day is…

A brilliant organization with a mission of teaching kids across America entrepreneurship through the concept of a lemonade stand – a model I hope to see scale throughout the United States and into international markets!

We select the organizations that we partner with by…

Looking for the best organizations in the world supporting entrepreneurs. We look for groups like-minded in mission with a proven track record of execution and ability to scale, strong leadership team, and focus on community first.

What inspired me to start Silicon North Stars…

My husband and I were both born in the Midwest and have deep family roots there. We wanted to build a bridge to help connect resources from where we’re from to where we live now. The summer tech camp we run is hands-down my personal favorite week of the year.

Google for Entrepreneurs is supporting women founders…

In three ways – via partners like Astia and Tech Inclusion who are directly focused on empowering more women in tech, via programs we run ourselves like Campus for Moms, a baby-friendly start-up school we run in five countries, and through efforts we produce across our entire partner network like Google for Entrepreneurs Women’s Demo Day, where female founders from around the world take the stage to pitch an audience of investors.

The most common problems that I observe in today’s start-ups…

Failing to build or launch for a global audience from an early stage. To truly differentiate, start-ups should leverage the Internet as a platform to reach a global audience and not aim to simply address their local market. Google for Entrepreneurs specifically aims to address this. For example, our GFE Global Passport allows start-ups who sit at any of our Campus spaces or partner tech hubs to work for free from any of the other 30 spaces in the world while on the road.

Top 3 tips for entrepreneurs expanding internationally…

  1. Launch your product in English from the start or as soon as possible.
  2. Get feedback from users on the ground in your target expansion markets.
  3. If you can, spend a brief amount of time in Silicon Valley to understand this market (you don’t have to move here to be successful!), gain inspiration, and access to an international network. Programs like Blackbox Connect, a 2-week global accelerator, are very helpful here.

Best piece of advice for entrepreneurs building their networks…

Pay it forward by always going the extra mile when possible to help someone out and in turn, ask others for help when you need it. Try to be as specific as possible in these requests to make it easy for people to oblige – instead of “what can you do to help me?” ask “can you help connect me with the UX team at x company?”

The trends in entrepreneurship that I am most excited about…

A focus on building products for emerging markets and the next wave of billions of users coming online – trying to solve issues around payment gateways and access that would bring a huge additional group of users into our global tech economy.

Key steps that need to be taken to tackle tech’s diversity problem…

The first step is awareness of the challenges, backed by actionable data – we need more recent data on women and other underrepresented minorities in tech as we’ll be able to better solve what we can measure. The second key component includes tangible programs like CODE2040 and Coalition for Queens, two GFE partners, who are training and equipping more entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. Lastly, is an open commitment from leadership across the industry to pilot, test, share data, and engage in open conversation and action.

Ways all entrepreneurs can be using tech in their business…

Ensure you have a robust web presence – including website, local listings, active social media channels, and a medium for connecting directly with your users. Internal tools, like Google for Work, can be immensely helpful in running a global or distributed team.

What’s next for Google for Entrepreneurs…

More partnerships, more Campuses, and a broader commitment to creating the most diverse and inclusive communities we possibly can.

Apps I can’t live without…

Twitter, Uber, UP –paired with my jawbone UP!

3 must-read sites every morning…

Google News – tags for “entrepreneurship,” Medium, NY Times