Google Launches Incubator for Startups Aligned With the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Credit: Google.
To gain a place in the program, startups will have to show Google their potential to help create a low-carbon, resource-efficient, more socially equal world.

Google has launched a new accelerator program for startups aimed at supporting new firms striving to drive progress against one or more of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The tech giant has said it will choose startups to support based solely on their past work or their potential to drive progress towards the 169 targets listed under the SDG framework, first choosing eight to 10 firms.

Each of the startups will then be covered by the accelerator program for 6 months, starting in early 2020. During this time, they will receive mentoring from Google staff and access to 1:1 support from Google’s engineers. Google has also said it will pay for the startups to access local mentors and external experts in each startup’s respective field.

Once this original cohort of startups completes the program, a second batch will be chosen.

Google’s chief sustainability officer Kate Brandt said the accelerator has been designed to address three “unique challenges which founders face when building a social impact company”—namely accessing funding, developing and monetizing the business, and creating products with the input of engineering expertise.

“Technology can help address some of the world’s biggest challenges, from empowering others to use artificial intelligence to address social challenges, to setting ambitious and long-term environmental sustainability goals,” Brandt said.

“When businesses and investors work together with government, nonprofits, communities, and individuals, we can make real progress.”

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