Snap Inc. is introducing its latest efforts to push diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to the forefront with the launch of 523, its first content accelerator program, according to information provided to AfroTech.

The goal of 523 is to champion small, minority-owned content companies and creatives. The program counteracts those whose support and resources don’t match the massive influence they bring to the Snapchat community.

Courtesy of 523

“The voices of underrepresented groups have long helped shape mainstream culture, yet these creative minds often don’t see the equitable benefits from their impact,” Starr Nathan, 523 Program Manager at Snap Inc., said in a statement. “If you want to make a real change, you have to embed equity in the business. That’s why we are designing tailored workshops, providing funding and helping participants build sustainable businesses.”

The fuel behind Snap Inc.’s mission to help build minority-owned content companies and creators is Snapchat’s Discover. The platform aims to continue featuring inclusive premium shows, but with even more BIPOC and LGBTQ+ talent to highlight underrepresented groups and cater to the company’s diverse storytellers and audience.

“PinkNews was a relatively small business when we began the process of joining Snapchat Discover in 2017, leading up to our launch on Discover in 2018,” Benjamin Cohen, Chief Executive of PinkNews, shared. “We doubled our content team in order to be able to produce the volumes of vertical content needed, and this put a significant strain on the business. But being part of Snapchat Discover allowed our business to grow significantly and even more importantly, has given many tens of millions of young people access to LGBT+ inclusive stories from the diverse communities that we seek to represent.”

What The Program Offers

For six months, information about the program provided to AfroTech discloses that the program will offer:

  • Funding and resources — $10,000 per month to support the applicants’ investment in concepting and filming content for Discover.

  • 1:1 mentoring — Mentorship from Snap’s Content + Media Partnerships team on how to best leverage the Snapchat platform to increase the applicants’ engagement and business goals.

  • Partner education — Intimate workshops that provide insight into the Best Practices to be successful, with sessions from experts across Snapchat — including Creative Strategy, Monetization, and more.

  • Exposure and marketing — Inclusion in announcements and public events related to the 523 program. Participants will also have the opportunity to form connections with sponsors who are offering time and resources to the program.

    • Sponsors include AT&T, Nissan, Target, State Farm, Unilever, Uber Eats, and McDonald’s.

  • Community engagement — The opportunity to connect with other companies within the 523 program and build a robust network through Snapchat.

How To Apply

The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 1. Twenty participants will be selected by Mar. 1.

Applicants can submit for the program here.