Press Release (ePRNews.com) - ATLANTA - Nov 02, 2020 - SOIL, a startup specializing in power and connectivity innovation, announces that founder Kenyon Hall has been chosen as a recipient of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. Hall will be part of the 76 African-American tech leaders who will receive up to $100,000 in funding for their companies.
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is a $5 million cash investment announced in June that seeks to promote racial equity in entrepreneurship by supporting black-led companies. Google notes that in the U.S., only 1% of venture capital goes to black founders, which inhibits their ability to launch and grow groundbreaking enterprises.
The funding will be non-dilutive, meaning Google will not seek a share of ownership in SOIL in exchange for the funding. Hall notes that the capital infusion will prove invaluable, as it currently has a fully stacked product pipeline.
Google awarded the funding to startups that are solving difficult but important problems through innovative technologies. SOIL was chosen for its next-generation work on Griot, an Internet connectivity platform that uses nanosatellites to deliver and provide a true total planetary connection for IoT.
As Griot is a multi-connectivity gateway that does not rely solely on terrestrial connections such as cellular, WiFi, or Bluetooth, it can provide Internet access in the most far-flung places. Its modular design that allows it to be controlled using an app increases its versatility.
SOIL says that broader Internet connectivity is highly beneficial to developing countries, allowing people greater access to information so they can reap the benefits of IoT. It can also prove life-saving during disasters, allowing people to communicate even if power lines and Internet infrastructure have been compromised.
Aside from Internet connectivity, SOIL has developed solar-powered products that aim to provide one billion people equitable access to electricity. Called Zawadi, the suite includes lamps, solar power stations, portable inverters, and battery banks.
Hall says that SOIL’s products aim to address how rapid technological advancement has not always created equal opportunities for all. He adds that this disparity in access is something that black businesses know only too well.
The SOIL founder says: “We are beyond excited to receive this funding from Google. Given the minuscule amount of capital accessible to black entrepreneurs, I’m happy that Google has taken a stand to disrupt the issues of pattern matching that occur when it comes to investing in entrepreneurs of color. This funding allows us to further our mission of enabling power and connectivity everywhere.”
For its groundbreaking work, SOIL has also received funding from WeWork through its $10,000 Black-owned Business Grant. It also recently joined NVIDIA Inception, a program that nurtures startups in the AI and data science space.
For more information about SOIL, visit: http://www.soildesigngroup.com or get in touch with our media department at email@example.com.