Photography by Danny Fulgencio

A startup created by two women in our neighborhood was selected to participate in a three-month startup accelerator program designed by Google to give Black-owned startups a boost.

Lakewood neighbor Mandi Price and longtime friend Star Carter launched Kanarys in 2019. The corporate platform allows employees to give anonymous feedback on work-related issues like discrimination, lack of mentorship opportunities and quality of assignments. Artificial intelligence then aggregates that crowdsourced information into data that companies can use to pinpoint areas of improvement.

“A lot of companies understand diversity, and it’s good to strive for that, but we have to recognize it’s much more than a numbers game,” Carter previously told the Advocate. “To benefit from a melting pot of backgrounds, we have to get intentional about inclusion.”

Kanarys and ShearShare, another Black-owned startup in North Texas, were among 12 startups nationally accepted to the program, which provides founders with mentorship and technical support. Kanarys is also receiving cash from Google’s $5 million fund that provides up to $100,000 to select startups.

“I thought [the programming] was phenomenal, not only from the technical standpoint of being able to help us accelerate some of the machine learning and AI we’re using within our platform, but also being able to touch on topics unique to Black founders and the challenges that we do have with respect to raising capital,” Price told the Dallas Morning News.

Since launching in early 2019, Price and Carter have appeared on “Good Morning America” and have been recognized by the Dallas chapter of the United Nations for their work in reducing workplace inequalities. The founders have seen a spike in interest since the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country this summer.

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