September 17, 2021
(updated September 17, 2021)
Published by BusinessWire
Kinetic Business has awarded $125,000 in grants since 2020 to benefit Black-owned firms
GENEVA, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kinetic Business today announced that an Ohio-based consulting firm that specializes in professional coaching, training and development, has been selected as the first Northeast Region winner of the Black Business Support Fund. The fund seeks to increase the number and stability of Black-owned businesses located within Kinetic’s service footprint.
Jewel White recently learned that, as a small-business grant recipient, her firm will receive $2,500 in cash and a year of free internet. Located in Geneva, Ohio, near Ashtabula, 180 Development Solutions & Consulting Co. LLC is a consulting agency that serves business and impact-driven organizations with coaching, facilitated dialogue, and shared learning experiences. Through its services, clients are given tools to manage and resolve disputes effectively, strengthen relationships, and encourage a collaborative team culture.
White says she is using the grant award to build strategic partnerships for her business. She recently became an authorized partner of Everything DiSC®, a global network of consultants, trainers, and coaches dedicated to improving the performance of people and cultures of organizations. That official partnership may not have been possible, at least not this year, without the support and recognition of Kinetic Business, she said.
“I’m so grateful that a close friend shared information about the Black Business Support Fund with me. I read the requirements and applied for it right away,” White said. “I strongly encourage other owners of Black-owned businesses to take the time to look into it and apply as soon as possible. The application process was a breeze. And already, the grant has been a real blessing for our small business, allowing us to continue pushing toward our vision of assisting other businesses and organizations, eliminating barriers, and implementing strategic techniques to produce purposeful, profitable, and impact-driven results.”
White’s is the first Black-owned enterprise to win the Fund since early August, when Kinetic Business began accepting applications for the awarding of grants to eligible businesses in three Northeast states: New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Previously, Kinetic opened the Fund to eligible customers in areas of Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania where the company has service.
Since the fund’s launch in late 2020, businesses selected for the grants have received a grand total of $125,000 in cash awards. If chosen, each small-business grant recipient will receive $2,500 in cash and a year of free internet for their business. The selected businesses will also get a free consultation from Kinetic Business on processes and products that could improve efficiencies and make their business more profitable.
To be eligible for a Black Business Support Fund grant, a business must:
Be a new or current small business in a market area that Kinetic serves in North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, New York, Ohio or Pennsylvania;
Be Black-owned and have 25 or fewer employees;
Not be currently engaged in bankruptcy proceedings;
Not be a nonprofit organization, liquor store, check-cashing agency, gun shop, pawn shop or adult entertainment business, and
Not apply for multiple businesses.
Funds will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Applicants should check Black Business Support Fund website for full terms and conditions and application process.
Kinetic has a long history of partnering with business and residential customers to connect communities to what’s important. Kinetic by Windstream is committed to deploying fiber to communities across the 18-state Kinetic footprint. This multi-year, $2 billion investment expanding fast, reliable connection allows residential customers gig speeds to navigate the internet safely from home with no lag times while they work, learn or stream entertainment services. Businesses ranging from small shops to large enterprises can take advantage of the fiber-backed network to deploy solutions that make their companies more efficient and profitable such as OfficeSuite UC® and SD-WAN.
Kinetic by Windstream is a business unit of Windstream, a privately held communications and software company. Kinetic provides premium broadband, entertainment and security services through an enhanced fiber network to consumers and businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. The company also offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. Additional information is available at KineticBusiness.com. Follow us on Twitter at @GoKineticBiz.
August 16, 2021
(updated August 16, 2021)
Published by BusinessWire
Companies were chosen based on their innovations shaping connected living, next-generation entertainment, the future of work, and personalized experiences
PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Comcast today announced the startups selected for the fourth Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars. These 11 companies, chosen from hundreds of applicants from over 40 countries, were identified for their potential to revolutionize industries across the core focus areas of the accelerator, including Connected Living, NextGen Entertainment, Future of Work, and Personalized Experiences.
Starting today, founders hailing from France, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and cities across the United States, from Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York City, will participate in this immersive 12-week program.
This year’s class is developing new innovations that have potential to shape the future of their industries, ranging from products that can power the future of work to gaming services to platforms that facilitate more creative and connected ways for families to enjoy and interact with media. More than a third (36%) of selected companies are led by at least one founder who self-identifies as a person of color or racial/ethnic minority in their home country while more than a third (36%) are led by a woman or gender diverse founder.
These startups will be mentored by over 100+ experts and industry leaders from across Comcast, which was recently recognized as one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators by Fast Company. Mentors include leaders from the Xfinity technology, product, and experience teams; the NBC and Telemundo broadcast stations; NBCUniversal cable networks; Universal Studios; Universal Theme Parks; DreamWorks Animation; Comcast Business; Comcast Ventures; Strategic Development; and Sky; as well as mentors from Techstars’ expansive global network.
Since the first class in 2018, 32 companies have completed the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, and 75% have secured pilots or enterprise deals with a division or business unit of Comcast NBCUniversal.
“This Accelerator gives Comcast the opportunity to build long-term relationships with these carefully selected high-potential startups and I am excited to welcome this diverse and talented group of entrepreneurs into our fourth class,” said Comcast’s Chief Business Development Officer Sam Schwartz. “We will work hand-in-hand with these companies to help them grow, learning as much from them as they learn from us.”
Founders will participate in workshops on fundraising, working with corporations, communicating through the media, and will meet experienced founders, business leaders, and subject matter experts who will share their insights in building and selling highly successful startups. At the conclusion of the program, the companies will participate in a Demo Day on November 4, 2021 and present their businesses before some of the world’s top venture capitalists, startup founders, business executives, and media.
Techstars’ veteran KJ Singh will serve as the Managing Director of the 2021 accelerator and work alongside the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs team, led by Danielle Cohn, Vice President, Startup Engagement, and Luke Butler, Senior Director, Startup Engagement. Together this team will leverage their operational expertise to guide these startups on formulating the best product/market fit, business development, and fundraising strategies, and tap their extensive relationships to facilitate deals and other business opportunities for these companies.
Meet the 2021 class of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars:
Employee Cycle automates the HR reporting and analytics process by transforming disconnected employee data from multiple HR systems into one centralized, real-time, actionable and shareable HR dashboard.
Founders:Bruce Marable (CEO) & Salas Saraiya | Philadelphia, PA |
Hollo is an AI enabled talent experience platform that helps HR teams pre-qualify candidates for roles and helps resurface past applicants for future jobs that are a better match while making the communication more efficient.
Founders: Thomas Moussafer (CEO) & Andy Mpondo Black | Paris, France |
Holodia’s platform, HOLOFIT, is an immersive, hardware agnostic, connected FitTech platform that merges gaming and fitness leading to increased user engagement and physical activity.
HUSSLUPis a networked marketplace of individuals in the creative industry making discovery easier via personal profiles, verified credits and encrypted creative samples to increase diverse hiring.
Founder: H Schuster (CEO) | Los Angeles, California |
LootLockeris a game backend-as-a-service that unlocks cross-platform services for development teams, saving time and money.
Founders: Alexander Bergendahl (CEO) & Andreas Stokholm | Stockholm, Sweden |
Nagish’s mobile app allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate via phone by converting speech-to-text and text-to-speech faster and more accurately than ever before.
Founder: Tomer Aharoni (CEO) | New York, NY |
Pacois an intelligent workflow assistant that helps teams eliminate distractions, capture to-dos and tasks from multiple communication channels allowing employees to focus on their work.
Founders: Sumit Suman (CEO), Sameer Narang & Nitin Pande | New York, NY |
Peekis a social reading app that creates a multiplayer reading experience, allowing users to purchase books, discuss in text, engage with authors, and interact with other readers in real time.
Founders: Deborah Igunma (CEO) & Emmanuel Ojo | London, UK |
Sidewalkconnects communities of business operators to give them access to modern property and liability insurance at a significantly lower cost than other insurance providers.
Founders: Brennan Pothetes (CEO) & Jenn Sammarco | New York, NY |
Think Confluentis an AI assistant that analyzes free form text feedback from employees to provide individualized action plans for employees and actionable insights for managers to increase team satisfaction.
Founders: Sarah Allali (CEO) & Nicolas Cabrignac | Paris, France |
Zoogis an asynchronous communication platform that allows users to take any children’s book and bring it to life using modern AR, ML and advanced animation capabilities.
Founders: Yoav Oren (CEO), Matan Guttman | Tel-Aviv, Israel |
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,500 companies with a combined market cap of more than $220B. www.techstars.com
June 28, 2021
(updated June 28, 2021)
Published by BusinessWire
ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–QED Investors today rolled out a mental health initiative aimed at tackling addiction and eliminating the stigma of talking about substance abuse.
The program is being offered in partnership with Operation Lighthouse, a non-profit organization established by the family of Greg Mazanec, a QED Investors partner who was sadly lost after suffering from substance use disorder in 2019.
The Just Five program delivers – in just five minutes per lesson – the most important concepts and facts regarding addiction. QED Investors is providing the educational programming free of charge to all of its U.S.-based portfolio companies after piloting the curriculum with three selected companies earlier this year.
“Greg’s death put a lot of things in perspective,” said QED Investors Co-Founder and Managing Partner Nigel Morris. “He was the definition of an amazing human being – an orthogonal thinker, tenacious, brilliant, quirky. Today, we carry him around on our shoulders and always look to build on the legacy he left.
“Many people underestimate the power of stigma and the perceived shame associated with addiction. I say all the time that if I have a sore arm, I’ll come into work and I’ll whinge about it. But if I took too many sleeping pills or drank too much wine, I won’t talk about it. I’ll say that I’m going to my doctor to get my shoulder fixed, but I won’t say that I’m going to talk to my therapist. This is the first step in how we can help tackle this debilitating stigma.”
The program will reach up to 16,000 people at startups across the U.S. It will be provided to QED Investors’ international portfolio companies this summer, and a Spanish-language version will be offered to companies in Latin America.
Operation Lighthouse offers startup leaders and employees a pathway to personal and corporate health by providing education about the prevention, recognition and management of substance use disorder and other mental health issues.
Beyond education, Operation Lighthouse provides access to the tools for employees to confidentially evaluate their risk and need for help with guidance to evidence-based treatment.
Ultimately, QED Investors hopes to partner with other VC firms to share the program with their own portfolio companies to ensure everyone in the startup and entrepreneur ecosystem knows where to turn for help and support.
“Operation Lighthouse was founded in memory of my brother Greg to help the startup community he loved overcome the disease that took him from us far too soon,” said Dan Mazanec. “Through education and candid conversation, Operation Lighthouse aims to de-stigmatize substance use disorder and guide those affected by it towards sound information and treatment.
“QED has been our steadfast partner from day one. I am deeply grateful for the courage and leadership QED has shown by investing in the health and well-being of startup founders and employees. QED’s example will undoubtedly inspire other venture firms to join us in this worthy cause.”
The Just Five curriculum is provided by national nonprofit Shatterproof, an organization that aims to reverse the addiction crisis in the United States through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas and supporting and empowering our communities.
This curriculum is split into six lessons, rolled out over the course of two months.
Each lesson has a specific theme. The first two lessons touch on the science of addiction and how certain factors such as age of first use, genetics and environment can explain why some people become addicted and others do not.
The middle lessons explain the dangers of opioids and the signs, symptoms and treatment options for substance abuse, while the final topics touch on ways you can help.
“The road of entrepreneurship requires a tremendous amount of hustle and sacrifice,” said Morris, “but at what point does that sacrifice come at the expense of your mental health? Founders are three times more likely to suffer from substance abuse and twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts. While it’s exciting to chase a dream, the weight of responsibility – to your employees, your investors and your customers – can feel overwhelming.
“Driving mental health discussions out of the shadows can massively change the trajectory of outcomes. Our world of venture is replete with people who are going through these kinds of difficulties. I swore to myself and to Greg’s family that I would talk about him wherever I had the chance.”
Operation Lighthouse offers startup leaders and employees a pathway to personal and corporate health by providing education about the prevention, recognition, and management of SUD and other mental health issues. Beyond education, Operation Lighthouse provides access to the tools for employees to confidentially evaluate their risk and need for help with guidance to evidence-based treatment if needed. By encouraging leaders to create a supportive and stigma-free healthy workplace, companies can assist their employees through recovery and return to fully productive work. A win-win.
About QED Investors
QED Investors is a global leading boutique venture capital firm based in Alexandria, Va. Founded by Nigel Morris and Frank Rotman in 2007, QED Investors is focused on investing in early stage, disruptive financial services companies in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and Southeast Asia. QED Investors is dedicated to building great businesses and uses a unique, hands-on approach that leverages our partners’ decades of entrepreneurial and operational experience, helping their companies achieve breakthrough growth. Notable investments include Credit Karma, ClearScore, Nubank, SoFi, Avant, Remitly, GreenSky, Klarna, QuintoAndar, Loft, Konfio, Creditas, AvidXchange, Current and Mission Lane.
September 15, 2020
(updated September 16, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Myles Meyers CEO and founder of Superbia Services.
The credit union is owned and managed by it’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, asexual, gender nonconforming, queer, and or great community allies who join. It provides all the traditional financial and banking services for personal and small businesses. The services side is working to provide life and health insurance as well as wealth management. Mr. Meyers has decades of financial services experience and founded Superbia based on the discrimination and biases many in the LGBTQ community face. Superbia, which is Latin meaning Pride, is designed to serve a community need as well as provide needed funding for LGBTQ community nonprofits. The more you use the services the more that, it can be provided to the community. It is a social impact business that creates an equal financial playing field where all members are treated with dignity and respect. As Mr. Meyers stated, “the world doesn’t need another bank or insurance company, but the world does need one that is focused on serving this community”. 13:50
Join Myles on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, a.lies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco.
May 11, 2020
(updated April 22, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer entrepreneurs often struggle well beyond their heterosexual start-up counterparts in many areas of business. One, in particular, is raising funding in the form of venture capital and operational working capital funding to launch and grow their business. Most businesses will need to apply for some sort of working capital during their lifetime. Traditional loans are not always an option to many LGBT business owners due to the lengthy paperwork required and strict rules and guidelines, and discrimination from the staff of traditional VCs/Banks/Leading Companies/Financial Institutions who have historically favored heterosexual white males. Progress towards diversity in entrepreneur funding is happening, yet continues to be slow.
Several financial companies and organizations have stepped up to aid LGBT entrepreneurs in acquiring the capital they need to see their vision to reality and continue its growth trajectory.
We’d like to consider this an active and growing list. If you are aware of a company or organization that providing funding and capital targeting the LGBT entrepreneur, we’d appreciate you using the Contact Us form and provide a link to their primary website so that we may review their info and potentially add them the resource list below.
If you contact any of the below, we’d greatly appreciate it if you would let them that you learned about them here on OutBüro.
Note: this site does not have SSL active, yet still live.
We’re out to change the world of business finance! Founded by LGBT with a focus on LGBT and other minorities. Diversity Fund is a new business finance platform that unites rewards, lending, and equity finance provides sophisticated tools for investors to evaluate each deal and company and is fun and engaging for everyone!
Through Diversity Fund, an entirely new generation of entrepreneurs can finance their venture or expansion by immediately reaching thousands of potential investors who support their goals. Diversity Fund opens the world of business finance to entirely new sets of entrepreneurs and investors and leverages crowdfunding to even the playing field to the rest of us. Founded in Austin, Texas, Diversity Fund seeks to become a leader of small business finance and a trusted source for both entrepreneurs and investors. We’re excited about Diversity Fund and hope you are too. Be sure to register, so that we can send you information and news. Also, subscribe to our e-newsletter and check out our social links for more!
LGBT Capital was established in 2010 with a focus on the LGBT Consumer segment as a credible investment sector and to demonstrate the business case for advancements in LGBT equality and inclusion.
Since then and to support these aims, LGBT Capital has pioneered the development of an LGBT Diversity Investment Index with a complementary Institutional Investment methodology, developed Statistics and Research to demonstrate the potential of the LGBT Consumer Sector, and launched the first international specialist LGBT Wealth Management offering as well as an LGBT focussed Property Portal. LGBT Capital also works with a number of quality LGBT focused businesses to support their investment plans and growth.
LGBT Capital’s portfolio is guided by a primary focus on a sound business opportunity while actively supporting the advancement of LGBT Equality and Rights globally We prefer to work closely with clients and partners towards achievable goals. We will advise, but prefer to help structure, implement and execute. We believe in the power of Impact Investing and in particular that Impact Investing can support the progression of LGBT freedoms and inclusion globally. We also believe that the growth of quality LGBT businesses, particularly in developing markets, will play a key part in further developing LGBT freedoms and quality of life.
Formerly known as Google Ventures, GV was launched in 2009 to serve as the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. Since then, it’s invested in over 300 startups within the life science, healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cybersecurity, and agriculture industries. Some of these startups include Walker and Company, Tala, and Vida.
Google Ventures is very open to exploring relationships of entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.
We believe in the power of spending time together face to face. Whether we’re hosting a summer BBQ, celebrating Pride, or playing softball, you’ll find us with our portfolio founders and their teams.
Startup52X is focused on grooming extraordinary startup founders to launch highly successful and profitable ventures. We especially like teams that have at least ONE founder from underrepresented communities in tech. These include people of color, women, entrepreneurs who are – veterans, with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQ, etc. We hope to increase diversity in startup and tech spaces while launching outstanding ventures.
Startup52 is an early-stage accelerator based in New York City. As the first sole diversity-focused accelerator in NYC, Startup52 was founded by Chike Ukaegbuto identify and groom outstanding entrepreneurs, especially those from untapped and under-tapped communities. Our main goal is to increase diversity in startup and tech spaces.
We run two cohorts a year with up to 15 outstanding ventures per class. Startup52’s ecosystem of partners, mentors, advisers, industry experts, investors and more, helps our ventures and founders thrive well even under the daunting challenges of startup entrepreneurship.
Our program follows an intensive structure that implements strategy aimed at uniquely helping startups develop an effective framework for decision making in focusing, aligning, executing and delivering against strategic adaptive and growth initiatives. This, we hope will lead to launch, longevity, and successful exits.
Our community of mentors, advisers, experts, serial entrepreneurs and more, are successful people, who have sold businesses, held executive positions at large companies, have advanced degrees from ivy league schools, are current entrepreneurs, among other great accomplishments.
AngelList is a U.S. website for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers looking to work at startups. Created in 2010, the platform has a mission to democratize the investment process and to help startups with their challenges in fundraising and talent. It started as an online introduction board for tech startups that needed seed funding. Since 2015, the site allows startups to raise money from angel investors free of charge.
The LGBT Market on AngelList is a resource to consider. Companies listed include HER and HORNET along around 150 other LGBT entrepreneur-owned businesses and worth investigating as a potential venue for exposure to angel investors
Connectivity Capital Partners is a venture capital firm that funds early-stage startups. Through the efforts of its Chief Investment Officer, Denmark West, the firm advocates for diversity in technology by supporting extraordinary startup founders regardless of their background.
As an LGBT entrepreneur, you are a champion of your brand. With Republic you can create a crowdfunding campaign that does more than attract small investors – it aids in creating brand ambassadors. Not LGBT specific as a platform, yet via your network and the compounded social influence that has you can spread your fundraising efforts to the audience of your making coupled with an active investor pool of 350,000 current members. In May 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enacted Title III of the JOBS Act, allowing non-accredited investors — the majority of the US population — to invest in startups. But the complicated legal requirements demanded a founder and investor-friendly, easy to use platform to make startup investing truly accessible while adhering to legal requirements so that it is an ethical safe space to invest from within.
That’s why we built Republic: to democratize investing and level out the fundraising landscape for founders and investors alike. We’re SEC-registered, FINRA-licensed, and if you’re at all interested in startups, you’ve heard of our past work: Republic is part of a family of startup platforms together with AngelList, Product Hunt, and CoinList — one of the most trusted online startup ecosystems in the world.
Gaingels is a profit-focused, mission-based affinity organization (a networking group of investors) which offers venture-stage investment opportunities into companies worldwide that have at least one LGBT founder, senior C-level executive, or board member.
Our members put great effort into assisting the companies we invest in. In turn, exceptional founders seek out this type of assistance to produce strong returns.
We also invest directly in venture funds, accelerator partners, and charity partnerships, including our own scholarship and mentoring program.
Announcing the Diversity Initiative, the largest venture capital resource ever created to focus on underrepresented entrepreneurs. This $125M commitment, part of Intel’s groundbreaking diversity efforts, will ensure that funded entrepreneurs enjoy the access to business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital their talents deserve. Focusing on both the seed-stage and expansion phases, Intel Capital – Diversity Fund invests in technology, environmental or social mission driving startups, and must be within the U.S.
In June 2015, Intel Capital announced the venture industry’s largest-ever commitment to invest in technology companies led by women and underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans).
Initially envisioned as a five-year, $125 million fund, the Intel Capital Diversity Initiative was expanded in October 2016 to also invest in startups led by entrepreneurs living with disabilities, U.S.-based entrepreneurs from the LGBTQ community, and U.S. military veterans.
In May 2018, Intel Capital announced that the Diversity initiative had exceeded its initial $125 million investment target more than two years ahead of schedule. Through September 2019, we have invested $381M in companies led by diverse teams; such companies make up 15 percent of our active portfolio.
500’s mission is to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems.
We believe that great founders come in all shades, genders, and nationalities.
Since our inception, we’ve made it our mission to find and empower talented founders, whether they’re across the world or overlooked in our own backyard.
Diversity has always been a core value at 500. We’re committed to being champions of the global VC community, not as it is, but as we’d like to see it.
At 500, we don’t just slap a poster on the wall about diversity – we know that LGBT founders, mentors, and investors are a huge part of what makes our #500Strong family so great. In 2014, we even launched Rainbow Round to highlight great entrepreneurs and do more community outreach.
If you have a socially responsible business model, Pipeline is a great start. Business owners can pitch to a network of women investors through pitch summits which happen several times throughout the year in various locations. To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit, headed by a cis female, non-binary femme or transgender woman. Our members serve as the friends and family for entrepreneurs who may not already have support at their critical startup stage.
DigitalUndivided understands that cultural, structural, and financial barriers have functioned to restrict the involvement of people of color in economic chances. But, black and Latina women are the fastest-growing set of entrepreneurs in the USA. BIG is more than an incubator- it’s a direct pathway into the innovation economy for women of color. The BIG process begins with START, an invite-only weekend of ideation, pitching, feedback, and networking. From this weekend, we chose the cohort of the BIG Incubator
Self admittedly, this is an investment portfolio that happens to take on minorities, not as a mission, but as a matter of good business as discussed in his short article here >> How to build a successful and diverse venture capital portfolio without really trying Brooklyn Bridge Ventures manages $23 million across two funds, leading or co-leading investments of around $350,000 in New York City companies that have yet to raise $750,000 in prior rounds. BBV is the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn, NY and it is managed by Charlie O’Donnell. Conversations often start pre-product and pre-deck. The fund invests in a wide variety of sectors, so say hello.
Kapor Capital invests in tech-driven seed stage companies committed to closing gaps of access, opportunity or outcome for low-income communities and/or minority underrepresented communities in the United States. We are open to investing in every sector, including education, work, finance, justice, food, and health.
We have invested exclusively in companies that have real potential to produce both significant financial returns and large-scale social impact by:
closing gaps of access to information or goods and services; and/or
expanding economic opportunity in the workplace and the marketplace; and/or
increasing outcomes such as efficiency and competitiveness of market-based solutions to social and economic issues.
We seek entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, especially people of color, women and other groups that have been historically underrepresented. We believe lived experience helps entrepreneurs identify rapidly-scalable, market-based solutions others have overlooked.
Astia was founded in Silicon Valley in 1999 as a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and promoting best-in-class, high-growth ventures that include women leaders.
Astia levels the investment playing field by cultivating a trusted global ecosystem of engaged male and female investors and advisors, who offer crucial resources, including capital, networks, and expertise. Unlike most VC’s, investment firms, or accelerators, Astia provides a creative, proven approach that contributes to the success of women leaders and their ventures.
Collaborative Fund Partners, LLC, is a social impact and inclusion investment firm. CFP exists to “do well by doing good.” Through a multi-company investment approach, CFP is able to minimize placement risk, where most early-stage funds have failed in the past. By becoming directly involved in each company, CFP is able to maintain a quality control position with the management team and the use of funds needed to take each company into revenue and profitability.
Collaborative Fund Partners, LLC generates capital appreciation through investments in its portfolio companies that meet the Fund’s investment policies. The Fund will seek to fulfill its primary investment objective by making investments in early-stage companies that require additional equity and/or working capital in order to establish or expand their businesses
Founded in 2011 by Angela Benton, NewME has accelerated hundreds of entrepreneurs through our online platform, residential “boot-camp” accelerators, and equity portfolio. We pioneered diversity in Silicon Valley by focusing on helping entrepreneurs identify strengths from their non-traditional backgrounds and leveraging them in business. We’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build better businesses some have even went on to raise venture capital funding. To-date NewME has helped minority entrepreneurs raise over $43MM in funding.
Mariah Lichtenstern’s background of building bridges between the privilege with those that are not prompted her to found Diversecity Ventures. Its focus is to invest in startups that not only aims to make a socio-economic and environmental impact but, more importantly, those that strive to promote cultural, geographic and cultural diversity.
Co-founded by Shauntel Poulson, Reach Capital is a venture capital firm that aims to support minority-led startups striving to help underserved communities in the country, particularly in the field of education. We invest in education because we believe itʼs our most valuable resource. It has the power to influence our course, contribute to our dreams and strengthen our communities. We invest in the people we believe in and the ideas we want to help build. Whether we are your sole investor or one of the many partners along your journey, we’ll always be there, ready to go to bat for you when necessary.
Black Angel Tech Fund was started by a group of successful Black entrepreneurs and angel investors after a thought-provoking panel about the lack of Black startup founders during the 2015 Stanford Black Alumni Summit. Since then, they have taken up the cause to use financial resources from successful African-Americans to support Black-owned startups. If you are LGBTQ and also happen to be African American, this VC may have interest in you.
Digitalundivided was founded by Kathryn Finney in 2012. Its mission is to champion Black- and Latinx-owned startups, by providing financial support and sound advice that will not only help launch these startups but also scale. If you are LGBTQ and also happen to be African American or Latinx, this VC may have interest in you.
DID continues to expand it’s impact and create true systems change through initiatives like The Doonie Fund, which has made over 1000 micro-investments in black women entrepreneurs and the expanded START program, which serves as an entry way for Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs into high growth entrepreneurship.
Project Diane 2020 is set to be released in Fall 2020 and while financial impact remains a central focus, 2020 data will spotlight community impact and what it truly means to be “self-made” in the tech and innovation space.
Based in New York City, KEC Ventures was founded by entrepreneurs from different ethnic backgrounds and industries. This unique blend of leadership gives KEC Ventures the ability to discover and support early-stage startups founded by entrepreneurs belonging to minority groups.
We help entrepreneurs bring the future into focus to find their breakthrough moment. Our proven track record of 100+ investments has unlocked growth opportunities through capital, advisement, and relationship building. We are the result of the merger between successful Los Angeles and Bay Area based Seed funds, Cross Culture Ventures and M Ventures. We invest in technology companies that create infectious products that benefit from shifts in cultural trends and behaviors in an increasingly diverse global marketplace.
Based in New York, Harlem Capital Partners (HCP) is a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage, minority-owned startups. Its mission is to invest in 1,000 of these types of startups within the next 20 years, with half of these being women- and minority-owned startups. HCP focuses its investments towards startups that aim to enhance financial, marketing, and operational experiences. As a solution to this challenge, HCP partners with entrepreneurs who have revenue-generating tech-enabled products or services that can leverage our financial, marketing and operational experiences to implement key processes to go from selling products to running a sustainable business.
Dreamit Ventures prides itself not only one of America’s top startup accelerators but also a catalyst of diversifying startup ownership in the country, particularly those that focus on developing Health and Urban Tech solutions.
Its partnership with Comcast Ventures aims to provide financial support and mentorship to minority-owned startups with ready-made products to help them scale through their Dreamit Access program.
Since it was founded, Humble Ventures has invested in 47 different startups, 70% of which are those established by women and entrepreneurs belonging to minority groups. These theCut, The Mentor Method, and KweliTV. Humble Ventures’ goal is to bring to innovative startups collective human, financial, and technical resources for them to launch and scale.
We focus on diverse entrepreneurs that are solving problems for the fastest growing demographic segments. We believe that diverse entrepreneurs provide opportunities for disproportionate returns and represent the markets of the future. We know that diverse audiences are tied inextricably to the future of cities. These audiences require responsive healthcare, access to wholesome food, economic stability, education, safe neighborhoods, and tight social support to create an environments for them to thrive.
Founders First Capital Partners is a venture capital firm founded by Kim Folsom with the goal of providing capital and support to startups owned by women, entrepreneurs from minority groups, and military veterans.
We fund service-based companies generating between $250K and $5M in annual revenues typically led by minority, military veterans, or woman founders. We offer Revenue-based investment (“RBI”), a new form of business financing, distinct from the preferred equity structure most VCs use and more flexible than traditional bank debt.
Its goal is to help startup founders not just launch a successful business, but also one that can be carried from one generation to another.
In line with this, Valmo Ventures’ mission is to create, advise, and partner with startups to transform them into valuable and profitable assets to society as a whole. Valmo Ventures creates, collaborates, and invests in companies, assets, and efforts that add value to portfolio returns and add value to our society. We believe that when we advise, invest in, and collaborate with bright, like-minded, and like-hearted individuals, extraordinary results are possible.
While Base Ventures is still a relatively young venture capital firm, it’s already making a mark as far as bridging the gender, and ethnic gap observed among startups in the country. Already, it has raised multi-million dollar funding for startups like StyleSeat and Balanced Payments.
Much of the success of Base Ventures is owed to its founder and Managing Director, Erik Moore. A seed investor of Zappos.com, Moore is recognized as one of the top 25 Most Influential Black in Tech and is driven by his desire to change the world by investing in young entrepreneurs.
Precursor Ventures is a venture capital firm that provides funding to pre-seed startups developing B2B and B2C software applications and services, and connected hardware. Although it’s one of the lesser-known firms, Precursor Ventures has willingly taken on the mission to ensure startup founder from diverse backgrounds are given equal opportunity to receive funding to grow and scale their businesses.
Precursor Ventures was founded with one simple premise. It is our belief that all entrepreneurs, regardless of background, benefit from having an institutional investor to help them scale and grow their company from the very beginning. We have built the entire firm around this premise that helping entrepreneurs get started and scale will be our life’s work. To that end, we have six core principles that drive our decisions and strategy:
We want to invest in your first institutional round of investment. We do not have requirements for traction or metrics. We want to be part of the company as early as possible. We are unafraid to back unproven, first-time entrepreneurs; unproven is not the same as incapable. We believe that the greatest returns in venture come from entrepreneurs who are capable but have not yet had the opportunity to show the world their talents and capabilities. We aggressively back entrepreneurs who have something to prove. We hold ourselves to high standards in terms of the diversity of founders we back and support. We are committed to investing in founders who represent a wide variety of backgrounds in terms of gender, race, background, academic experience and life circumstances. We are patient because building meaningful companies takes time and the rewards are great for those who participate in the entire journey. Building great companies takes time. There are no shortcuts and we know that the journey will be long but the rewards are worthwhile. We focus on long-term thinking. We value intellectual curiosity and open thinking. The best companies are built by curious founders who question everything and are open to thinking about new ways to tackle problems. We invest in early-stage companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Toronto. We are willing to consider other geographies, but we focus our energy in these locations.
Excel Capital Management is a proud supporter of the LGBT community, and we are here to help with all of your business funding needs! For more information on Excel and the funding solutions we offer, check out our Solutions page and APPLY NOW! For even faster service, contact one of our funding specialists TODAY at 877-880-8086
Wells Fargo a national leading small business lender for eleven years and they are dedicated to supporting the business needs of the LGBT entrepreneur client community. This dedication includes being a founding corporate partner of National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and strong support for LGBT inclusion with their LGBT clients and their employees. As an employer, Wells Fargo fosters a culture in which all people and their individual differences are not only accepted but celebrated. If you’re an LGBTQ+ employee of Wells Fargo rate them here.
Being an entrepreneur is never easy. But so worth it. You can make inroads to attaining your entrepreneurial goals. Be smart about who you partner with for funding. It will be a long-lasting relationship not to be taken lightly.
Bear in mind there is not any failure, only feedback. Remember that there are organizations and persons which are pushing for diversity and that encourage LGBTQ and other diversity entrepreneurs. One such organization is the National Venture Capital Association who has listed over 40 venture funds dedicated to diversity. We are still reviewing all those companies to validate they are worthy of including in this list in a future update.
April 14, 2020
(updated May 2, 2021)
Published by Craig Derene
We’ve all been there—a tough day on the job that makes us eager for a new opportunity. Those periods at work can be frustrating, leading our minds to wander, longing for the American dream. Whether you’re stuck in a cycle of routinely sifting through job openings or you’ve just come to the conclusion that you need a fresh start, the idea of becoming your own boss is a refreshing thought. It’s common and OK to be dissatisfied with corporate America, feeling like you’re meant for so much more. You are reading this so YOU ARE MEANT FOR MORE. Own that, explore your options and take action toward making a change. A new opportunity might be on the horizon for you if you see it and seize it. So let’s explore the reality of opening a small business and how a Franchise Consultant can help guide you to a successful investment of your time and resources and if an established proven business model cutting your startup learning curve and increasing your chances of business startup sucess is right for you .
America has an estimated 1.4 million LGBT business owners as innovators, job creators, taxpayers, and providers of essential services that benefit our entire society. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender business owners are a vibrant, essential part of the small business engine that makes the U.S. economy run. That is why Franchise Connect Pro has partnered with OutBüro to help bring awareness and opportunities to the LGBTQ community.
Why owning a franchise may be the right choice for you
While we definitely admire the drive and passion needed to start your own business, this might not be the most fruitful avenue for you, as shown in these facts of the reality of starting a small business:
Starting a small business might not be a practical option for you to invest your time and resources into, but there is thankfully another way: franchise ownership.
Investing in a Franchise
With a successful model and established brand in place, aspiring business owners can find success by becoming franchisees. Not only is franchise ownership successful in terms of finances in many cases, but it is also beneficial for your overall happiness and satisfaction with your career, as shown in these stats as reported by Small Business Trends.
Nearly 75% of franchisees would choose this path again if given the option.
Nearly 80% of franchise owners would recommend franchising with their brand to others.
If you’re a pizza lover, then you might think that owning a nationally recognized pizza chain will be the perfect opportunity for you, but that isn’t always the case. Your professional strengths and desires might be calling you to own a business in a different industry. Guidance in finding the perfect brand is where a Franchise Consultant can help.
Making the Right Choice: Working with a Franchise Consultant
Your next step should not be a guessing game. Owning a franchise will be an investment of your time and money. When working alongside a Franchise Consultant, you’ll get intuitive advice and insight on what option is best for you and your family, factoring in your ideal schedule, income, and industry. A Franchise Consultant will carefully contemplate and evaluate your drive and passion, taking into consideration factors such as when you want to work, where you want to work, and what line of business you want to be in.
Pairing you with a franchise that’s the best match for your personal and professional needs, a Franchise Consultant will work alongside you to make the most of your next career path. And, much like working with a realtor to shop for a new home, working with a Franchise Consultant is no cost to you!
Have Questions? Let’s Chat
Uncover Your Next Step with Franchise Connect Pro
It is our passion to link LGBTQ professionals to a franchise business opportunities perfect for them. As a Certified Franchise Consultants, we are passionate about helping people like you find their best match and increase your chances of business sucess through established business models and brand with recognition.
October 31, 2018
(updated May 2, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
BringMeGift Vacation & Business Travel App and OutBüro have partnered for a fun contest/game.Download the BringMeGift App, Register as a Service provider, create your fun and interesting service offer listings for vacation and business travelers between Oct 31 and Nov 7, 2018. The individual with the most offers listed will win $200 from BringMeGift.
Also, for those that download the BringMeGift App, also the first 100 people to also register for free on www.OutBuro.com will receive a discount code for 50% your BringMeGift monthly service provider fees. After registering on both, send a short message to OutBüro via Support Contact form to receive one of only 100 discount codes for BringMeApp.
October 28, 2018
(updated September 16, 2021)
Published by Dennis Velco
BringMeGift is the brainchild of Viсtor Semeniaka a Belarusian developer who had the vision to bring the global gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community a unique tool to make your next travel exciting and personal.
To take the BringMeGift to the next level he moved to New York City and was accepted to participate in the startup accelerator at Starta Ventures. Further, BringMeGift has made a smart move in creating a relationship with Mr. Matt Skallerud, founder of Pink Banana Media, who is very adept at reaching the target LGBT market through online marketing. BringMeGift is a unique approach and seeking investors who share their vision.
This is built on an invite-only trusted network concept. Mr. Semeniaka believes that this will make users of the amazing new app feel more confident in creating the vacation experience of a lifetime. What makes this new travel tool so interesting is the ability to either pay directly for a service offered, or barter – offering a gift, thus the name BringMeGift. For example, say you have a favorite Spanish wine that can only be purchased there. If you live in the US, you cannot get it. So, if you offer a service, say the use of your spare room, be a local guide for an afternoon or more to a Spanish traveler you may request they bring you a few bottles of that so much loved wine in return. Then sit back and sip away.
Offer a home cooked meal for example coupled with great conversation. What a great way to be a global citizen and make new friends. Offer the use of your car for a few hours or a day. Offer to be a hiking guide in local parks. Offer to be a shopping guide. Nearly anything can be offered and requested in return.
This is not just for your vacation. As a past extensive business traveler myself, I would have absolutely loved an app like this during those times. Business travels can be so mundane with few options to get out of the hotel after work. I spent many evenings sipping cocktails at bars just so I’d have someone to talk to that wasn’t work related. With BringMeGift, on your business travels you can offer to bring a token of your appreciation and explore the city with a local and make great friends if you find yourself in that location again.
Naturally, the participants will have to keep country customs and airline baggage restrictions in mind.
About Starta Ventures: Starta Accelerator’s mission is to introduce startups with European R&D roots to best practices, trusted advisors and mentors, and overcome cultural differences through a customized educational program that helps startups gain traction in the United States and become part of the local startup and investing ecosystem. To put it simply we do everything we can and everything that you need to expand into the American market and succeed globally.