Twelve International Founders Selected for Blackbox Connect 24 in San Francisco

Entrepreneurial leaders 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 November 5–16, a hand-picked cohort of 12 rising startup entrepreneurs will head to Silicon Valley from across the globe to participate in Blackbox Connect 24. The highly-selective program places founders inside a two-week residential immersion at Taohaus in San Francisco, offering the opportunity to live and learn together while connecting with top Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders in an intimate, open, and collaborative environment.

Selected entrepreneurs — typically the CEOs of their companies and referred to as “Blackboxers” — examine themes around founder mindset, values-based leadership, global product vision, storytelling and effective communication, and the intersection of culture and strategy.

“Blackbox provided an opportunity to break down myself and my company into fundamental pieces, look at the obstacles that I was facing, then gel everything back together to provide a more clear vision for the future,” says Conall Laverty, Founder & CEO of Dublin-based Wia, a cloud platform for IoT developers.

After two intensive weeks of speaker sessions, workshops, pitch coaching, mentoring and expert feedback, the program culminates in an intimate dinner celebration on November 15th, an opportunity for Blackboxers to showcase their companies and connect with the Silicon Valley community.

This cycle’s 12 participants hail from Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, India, Ireland, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the UAE, and the UK and represent a wide variety of fast-growing sectors.

Several of the selected founders are recipients of the Google for Startups Scholarship, which provides all-expenses-paid participation in the program for founders nominated by members of the Google for Startups partner network. Blackbox and Google for Startups have partnered to elevate more than 200 founders across 15 program cycles since 2013. “We’re incredibly proud to have partnered with Blackbox Connect over the several years”, says Nicole Froker, Partner Engagement Manager with Google for Startups. “The program has provided an invaluable opportunity for startups across our partner network to experience the best that Silicon Valley has to offer, and to build global companies from day one. This cohort of founders represents the top talent from all corners of the world, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Bay Area.”

“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 90% of Blackboxer-founded companies continue to grow and thrive.

Introducing the Blackbox Connect 24 cohort:

Alexandre Borges Silva, Grão Direto | Brazil

Grão Direto is an online commodity trading platform that creates an intelligent network between grain buyers and farmers. The platform helps farmers find the best deals with improved efficiency, transparency, and security.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by Startup Farm

Carlos Ganoza, Quantum Talent | Peru

Quantum Talent uses artificial intelligence to connect workers and firms. They automate the recruiting process and predict the compatibility between candidates and jobs. Ultimately, they connect people with jobs in which they can thrive and firms with the best employees for their needs.

Charlie Barlow, Health at Hand | United Arab Emirates

Health at Hand is an independent telehealth company allowing patients to have app based video consultations with highly qualified doctors from anywhere in the region. The video consultations save excessive time and costs of outpatient visits, and alleviate corruption associated with over-prescribing. They have integrated sick-notes, e-referrals, and drug delivery (a regional first) and operate a ‘payer-focused’ approach, allowing them to attract significant B2B interest.

Claire Schultz, Vetchat | Australia

Vetchat is an online marketplace that immediately connects pet owners and their pets to trusted veterinarians via real time video consultations and chat. They provide peace of mind for pet owners in emergencies and expert advice for everyday questions so that every pet can live their best life everyday.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by SheStarts

Elize Shirdel, HELM | Canada

HELM connects parents to the tools and services they need to run family life. Book a babysitter, find a summer camp, book a ballet class, see what’s on for families over the weekend — HELM is the app a parent opens everyday to run family life. HELM carries the mental load so that you don’t have to.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by Communitech

Garret Flower, Parkpnp | Ireland

Parkpnp is a leading digital platform that aims to revolutionize the way people park, reduce congestion in city centers, and lower carbon emissions. They do this through smart parking solutions for all types of space owners, parking more people in less spaces.

Louise Doherty, PlanSnap | United Kingdom

PlanSnap is a social planning platform that gets friends together for any kind of social occasion, fast. The platform gets everyone to agree on the details of a plan — who, what, where, when — quickly, so the plan can actually happen. They use clean design, group psychology, and machine learning to help their users around the world make plans that actually happen.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by TechStars

Maria Belka, Bit Evil SA | Poland

Eracoin, a mobile app by Bit Evil, is a long-awaited change in the online marketing paradigm. Its aim, thanks to incentivizing users, is to make marketing and advertising efficient and ethical.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by Campus Warsaw

Melissa Bime, INFIUSS | Cameroon

INFIUSS is a system that connects hospitals without blood banks to hospitals with blood banks. They have created a digital database that sources blood from blood bank hospitals and helps them find and deliver requested blood to patients in need. Patients have the option to make requests via the mobile app, phone, or SMS.

Mohamed Bedri, AsaDuru | South Africa & Sweden

AsaDuru uses TreeWell, a bioengineered sewage treatment and reuse system, to close the water loop. Through a pay-per-use model, clients can realize immediate savings on their water bills with no up-front investment. This allows AsaDuru to generate monthly revenue and enables growing cities to become more water resilient.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by JoziHub & Epicenter

Siddharth Darbha, Wagr | India

Wagr is a smart wearable device and companion mobile app that makes dog parenting easier by promoting the safety and fitness of dogs. It aims to be a single interface for everything a dog parent needs. It’s the first product by MobiusWorks which builds solutions that enhance an individual’s relationships.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by 91Springboard

Yannick L. Rault, Sheetgo | Spain

Sheetgo is a SaaS platform that enables users to enhance productivity and data reliability by connecting spreadsheet data in the cloud and automating data transfer. Their product allows any user to create complex data workflows in few clicks with no programming skills required.

Recipient of a Google for Startups Scholarship; nominated by SeedRocket

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