Fourteen Founders from 13 Countries Selected to Join Blackbox Connect 23
Force multipliers from across the globe will gather under one roof for two weeks to elevate the potential of their companies, their home ecosystems, and each other
This August 13-24, a hand-picked cohort of 14 rising startup entrepreneurs will head to Silicon Valley from across the globe to participate in Blackbox Connect. The highly-selective program, now in its 23rd edition, consists of a two-week immersive residential experience at taohaus in San Francisco, offering the opportunity for rising international entrepreneurs to live and learn together while connecting with top Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders, and executives in an intimate, open, and collaborative environment.
Participating founders — typically the CEOs of their companies and referred to as “Blackboxers” — step out of the day-to-day grind and reexamine their leadership of everything from growth strategy to product design to team culture from a fresh and global perspective.
“The program touched me on a deeply personal level, changing me from a locally-oriented entrepreneur to really believing and feeling that I can bring [my company] to the next level as a globally-oriented startup,” says Eveline Klumpers, Cofounder of Amsterdam-based Katalysis, on her Blackbox Connect experience.
After two weeks of speaker sessions, workshops, pitch coaching, mentoring and expert feedback, the program culminates in an intimate dinner celebration on August 23, an opportunity for founders to connect and exchange value with Silicon Valley leaders from the Blackbox network.
This cycle’s 14 participating founders hail from Peru, Indonesia, Ireland, Spain, France, Argentina, South Korea, Mongolia, Chile, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Venezuela, and the United States and represent a wide variety of ventures, from e-commerce to bioprinting, edtech, enterprise software, proptech, and more.
Several of the selected founders are recipients of the Google for Entrepreneurs Scholarship, which provides all-expenses-paid participation in Blackbox Connect for founders nominated by members of the Google for Entrepreneurs partner network. Blackbox and Google for Entrepreneurs have partnered to elevate more than 200 founders across 14 program cycles since 2013. “Strong leadership is essential to the success of any startup,” says Nicole Froker, Partner Engagement Manager with Google for Entrepreneurs. “We’re incredibly proud to partner with Blackbox Connect and provide scholarships to founders in our network, allowing them to enter a creative space where they can reshape their view on how to lead their startups.”
“We’re proud to have had the opportunity to work with over 400 founders from 60+ countries since 2011, providing support, guidance, and access to a global community at a critical moment in the entrepreneur’s journey,” says Marie Paoli, Director of Partnerships & Programs at Blackbox. Over 65% of participating startups go on to raise additional funding within 6–9 months of the program, there have been 10 exits to fuel the growth of local and regional startup ecosystems, and 88% of Blackboxer-founded companies continue to grow and thrive.
Introducing the Blackbox Connect 23 cohort:
Anson Tou, Qempo | Peru
Qempo is a marketplace that connects buyers who want to buy from overseas with travelers who are flying to the buyer’s destination. Qempo simplifies international shopping with local payment methods, free warranties, and last-mile delivery.
Caroline Creidenberg, Wedfuly | Denver, USA
Wedfuly is making professional wedding planning affordable for couples with any budget by bringing the planner online. Wedfuly is bridging the gap between DIY wedding planning and full-service wedding planners.
Casper Sermsuksan, Kulina | Indonesia
Kulina is a food technology platform that works with cooks and restaurants to deliver curated lunch meals using a last-mile delivery algorithm.
Conall Laverty, Wia | Ireland
Wia tackles the challenges behind poorly designed IoT systems implemented due to complex configurations and limited best practices. They do this by providing the “universal language of things” which enables any device to speak to any thing, service, or person.
Daniel Suárez Sánchez, zapiens.ai | Spain
Zapiens is a knowledge management system for companies and universities that’s collaborative & hybrid. Zapiens helps communities evolve existing knowledge, putting all the questions and answers in user’s hands!
Fabien Guillemot, Poietis | France
Poietis is a biotech company specialized in the manufacturing of 3D-printed human tissues. Since its creation in 2014 as a spin-off from the University of Bordeaux, the company has been partnering with leading universities and the main pharmaceutical and cosmetic groups to provide them tissue development and manufacturing services based on Laser-Assisted Bioprinting.
Google for Entrepreneurs Scholar; nominated by Google France
Diego Moya, Entrenarme | Spain
Entrenarme is the largest global sports and wellbeing professionals marketplace.
Gonzalo Sisack Novillo, MisPichos.com | Argentina
MisPichos.com is an online pet store that works with associated local pet shops by fulfilling and shipping orders through a demand aggregator platform. With the local infrastructure, free same day delivery is possible, and product prices are unified.
Hanny Jang, HannySoft | South Korea
Hanny Soft is an intelligent smart space management platform based on AI and big data. The platform, which is enabled for both mobile and web, also creates a smart marketplace which provides various business opportunities online.
Heather Holmes, Genivity | Chicago, USA
Genivity is an award winning A.I. software platform that helps financial professionals plan for longevity, health risks, and elder care costs so their clients don’t run out of money in retirement.
Mend-Orshikh Amartaivan, erxes Inc | Mongolia
erxes is an AI meets open source messaging platform built to help marketing, sales & support teams connect, build trust, and grow with their customers in an easy and affordable way. They do this through allowing for unlimited customer service integrations through channels including social media platforms, messenger, email, SMS for multiple brands
Sasza Lohrey, B.B.X.X. | Chile
BBXX uses digital solutions and storytelling to bring the user the most important life education that they don’t get at home or in school- about relationships. Everything you wish you knew about sexuality, intimacy, and communication to help you live easier yet more meaningful relationships. Ultimately, BBXX wants you to live them to the fullest- and live life to the fullest as a result.
Sofia Quintero, NomNom Insights | United Kingdom
NomNom helps product, design, and user research teams centralize customer feedback and research data in one place. Teams at companies like Adobe, Booking.com, and GrubHub use NomNom to get insights about their customers and improve their products and customer experiences. The platform allows teams to quantify qualitative data, build research projects, build reports and dashboards, and share insights easily across the entire organization.
Waqas Muhammad, WonderTree | Pakistan
WonderTree is an augmented reality platform that develops games that aim to improve the motor and cognitive skills in special needs children. They are working on making special education and therapy cheaper, efficient, measurable, and accessible to everyone.