2016 was a fantastic year for the American Underground! We left 2015 with very specific goals — to make our community a destination for entrepreneurs inside and outside of our area, to find a national transportation partner, and to further grow the diversity of founders in the AU. We’re proud to say we’ve made good on those goals with the help of our amazing partners and a killer roster of companies!
Here are some of American Underground’s highlights from the past year:
- Hosted first ever Google For Entrepreneurs Exchange for Black founders
- Partnered with Audi to pilot a shared fleet program in Durham
- AU teams generated 179 national news stories (up 150 from last year )
- 48.2% of AU teams are minority/female led (a 30% increase from last year)
- 72,576 cups of locally roasted coffee were brewed by AU members
- $26.7 M was raised by AU-headquartered companies
Watch the videos below to hear from some of our members about the year they’ve had.
Diversity & Inclusion
Growth & Graduation
Thriving Cities Case Study
Thriving Cities, a research initiative at UVA, chose American Underground as the subject of its first case study in a series examining institutions that lead with a “new paradigm” approach to business, cross-sector collaboration, and holistic thinking.
GFE Exchange: Black Founders
The American Underground, in partnership with Google For Entrepreneurs, hosted the first Google For Entrepreneurs Exchange for Black Founders. The weeklong immersion program brought 12 early-stage tech companies led by Black founders to Durham for mentoring and collaboration to prepare them for raising capital, addressing the documented funding gap for minority founders.
AUDI shared fleet program
Audi, in partnership with American Underground, piloted its car sharing service in Durham in preparation for its 2017 roll out. The program allowed for AU members to share 3 fully loaded red 2017 Audi A4 sedans, accesing the vehicles through an app on their phones.