Jewel Burks Solomon, an Atlanta based tech entrepreneur, just became the first African-American to be named head of Google for Startups in the United States, Hypepotamus reports.
The newly created role at Google will help empower startup founders with products, connections and best practices, while also helping to diversify the startup landscape. In 2013, Solomon created PartPic, a company that utilizes visual recognition software to identify maintenance and repair supplies. From 2014-2016 Solomon worked for Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence for diversity markets, “helping underserved business owners grow their businesses online using Google tools.” In 2016, Amazon purchased PartPic, solidifying Solomon in the tech arena. Her new role will require her to put all of her expertise to use and continue to push the envelope on diversity in the startup community.
The Howard alumna spoke about her new position saying, “I am thrilled about the opportunity to do work I’m deeply passionate about, to help level the playing field in the startup ecosystem. I have a great opportunity to highlight the work of incredible startups here and in other markets that have historically been underresourced.”
Solomon, a Nashville native, is also a managing partner at Collab Capital, an investment fund group that connects African-Americans to the capital needed to launch successful businesses.
“Jewel’s background as an entrepreneur and investor gives her a deep amount of empathy for the founder journey and insight into what founders need to build successful businesses. Her experience allows the team to ensure our work is meaningful to startups and that the metrics of success are closely aligned with the startups we work with,” a Google rep told Hypepotamus.
With Solomon being located in Atlanta, the tech giant also sees opportunity for expansion outside Silicon Valley. “Google has been fortunate to call Georgia home for the last eighteen years. There’s amazing local talent in the area and a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, which continues to attract companies, big and small to the area, and we’re proud to be a part of the thriving tech ecosystem,” they said.
Solomon said she is also excited to shake things up in the peach state. “The opportunity to bring the best of Google to startups in Atlanta and other key markets is incredibly exciting. Access to the right resources and people is critical to startup success, so I’m excited to be able to share these things with startups that need them,” she said.
Congratulations Jewel! We’re excited to see what’s next!