Latino-led businesses are the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses, but as an aggregate they only receive 2% of total U.S. venture capital funding, despite comprising 20% of the U.S. population.
To help correct this disparity, Google has allocated $5 million to its inaugural Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund.
Google announced the names of the first 50 Latino founders who will receive funding. Included on the list of honorees is Milwaukee-based The Way Out, headed by co-founders Ruben Gaona and Eli Rivera. The organization focuses on connecting justice-involved job seekers with employment opportunities, and then provides support for the workers as they reintegrate into society.
The full list of winners can be found here.
The chosen companies will receive $100,000 in cash awards, hands-on support and mentorship from Googlers across the company, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, and access to therapy sessions to use as needed for any support they may need emotionally and professionally.
MKEStartup.News spoke with The Way Out founders in 2021 about their company, and what inspires them to provide meaningful second chances to a growing segment of Milwaukee’s population. Read more here.