Atlanta-based entrepreneur Kunbi Tinuoye’s new initiative to support minority founders has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Techstars Foundation: Accelerate Equity cohort.
Officially launched this year, Geekz Ventures is a 10-week virtual program for Black and Latinx founders launching their first tech-enabled startup. The pre-accelerator is industry agnostic; however, the focus is on media, connectivity, entertainment, and mobile technology. The call for applicants is now open.
The aim is to provide access to community, curriculum, training, resources, and coaching to help founders refine their ideas, get their first paying customers, and gain a better understanding of the investment landscape.
The non-profit won a spot on the Techstars program last month. The Foundation’s mission is to develop and empower underestimated entrepreneurs through programs, grantmaking, and meaningful access to the Techstars network.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Techstars family,” said Geekz Ventures founder Kunbi Tinuoye. “In joining the network, we hope to further develop our programming, make meaningful connections, and focus on fundraising strategies to help us support our community.”
“We want to work with ambitious founders at the start of their journey to help them develop their ideas and get a better understanding of what it takes to run a successful business,” she added. “Our goal is to diversify the tech ecosystem from the ground up.”
“I am passionate about putting money into the hands of minority founders because mentorship simply isn’t enough. Our goal is to give all the founders equity-free microgrants to send a message that we truly believe in their work. We do not take any equity from founders to participate in our program.”
“We have verified that Geekz Ventures is a highly qualified organization that we would like to support,” said Angela Madura, director of the Techstars Foundation. “The Techstars Foundation is a social impact program of Techstars. Our purpose is to make entrepreneurship accessible and inclusive in partnership with our global community of entrepreneurial support organizations by providing capital, programs, and access to the Techstars network.
Geekz Ventures is one of four participants in the Accelerate Equity cohort. The team is actively fundraising to build out their inaugural cohort which will kick off in Q1, 2023. The Techstars Foundation will match 20% of all donations to Geekz Ventures.
“I am passionate about putting money into the hands of minority founders because mentorship simply isn’t enough,” said Geekz Ventures founder, Tinuoye, who is also the chief exec of award-winning digital news platform UrbanGeekz. “Our goal is to give all the founders equity-free microgrants to send a message that we truly believe in their work. We do not take any equity from founders to participate in our program.”
The team has curated a group of heavyweight industry experts to work side-by-side with the cohort founders. Mentors and Coaches include Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon, CEO of All Raise; Terry (Kojo) Oppong, Creator Manager at LinkedIn; Jon Gosier, founder and CEO at FilmHedge; Kathryn O’Day; partner at Atlanta Ventures, and Gary Stewart, founder and CEO of FounderTribes, among others.
Nominated for the Techstars program by Finance Savvy CEO Marguerite Pressley Davis, Davis says “I’m so excited to support the Geekz Ventures initiative. Once again it shows Kunbi’s commitment to making a measurable impact in the community.”
At the end of the cohort, the goal is for participants to scale their business, get or spot in an accelerator program, secure early-stage funding, or simply work towards running a sustainable and scalable business that generates reoccurring revenue.
An earlier iteration of Geekz Ventures was selected to participate in Resource, a Village Capital and Black Innovation Alliance program that supports ecosystem leaders who support minority entrepreneurs. “Having the support of BIA and Village Capital was the impetus we needed to kick off this initiative,” said Tinuoye.
Interested? Then apply here before the November 30, 2022, deadline. Not a founder? Those looking to support can donate here. The Techstars Foundation will match donations by 20%. Want to get in touch? Contact us here.