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Village Capital, Black Innovation Alliance launch Resource to support Minority Founders

Serial entrepreneur, Kelly Burton

Village Capital and the Black Innovation Alliance have joined forces to launch Resource, a nationwide initiative that backs ecosystem leaders who support minority entrepreneurs.

The goal is to support and connect entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) led by and focused on founders of color. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous-led accelerators, incubators, and associated organizations are given support in the form of training, community, and funding.

Launched in February, 13 ESOs were handpicked from a competitive pool of candidates. Participants receive hands-on training, best practices in programming, peer-networking opportunities, access to a funder network, and grant funding.

Resource cohort participants

Resource cohort participants

“We are so excited to be launching our pre-accelerator program and other exciting initiatives later this year,” said UrbanGeekz founder Kunbi Tinuoye, who is participating in Resource. “Having the support of BIA and Village Capital has been pivotal for the development of our programming.”

Other companies in the cohort are Collab Studio, Beautiful Ventures, Black & Brown Founders, Change Labs, Div Inc, ESO Ventures, First Founders, Impact Ventures, Majira Project, New Mexico Community Capital, We Tha Plug, and Wepower.

The 12-month virtual initiative will provide a forum to establish and share best practices in entrepreneur support as well as national resources for both ESOs and the startups they support. Critically, Resource will also provide technical assistance in the form of training and tools to improve sustainability, as measured by a milestone-based assessment.

Resource cohort #1 map

Resource cohort #1 map

“This partnership with Village Capital is our attempt to model a healthy and reciprocal partnership,” said Kelly Burton, executive director of Black Innovation Alliance. “We apply a racial equity lens to every aspect of the work which has us learning constantly. We’re really excited about the difference the program is going to make for our members and peer organizations in the space.”

“If nothing changes, the median wealth of Black Americans will fall to zero by 2053,” said Village Capital CEO Allie Burns. “Historically, entrepreneurship has been one of the most consistent drivers of wealth for people of color. And incubators and accelerators are a key driver of successful Black-owned businesses – one in three Black founders who raise $1 million graduate from a Black accelerator. We want to make sure that those accelerators and other ESO’s have the financial, social, and human capital to keep their doors open and grow.”

Resource is funded by a coalition of businesses committed to supporting underrepresented founders and their businesses. Funders for the inaugural cohort are UBS, Moody’s, Travelers, and Sorenson Impact Foundation.

 Main Image: Kelly Burton, executive director of Black Innovation Alliance



    Nick Telman
    Nick Telman
    Nick Telman is a contributing writer for UrbanGeekz