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Give Your Startup A Head Start With A Business Incubator

Launching a startup is no easy task. From coming up with an idea that can actually gain traction to creating a solid positioning statement, there are plenty of caveats that can cause even the most well-intentioned startups to fail — or at least stumble along the way. This is why getting assistance earlier on to help focus targets and strategies is critical. Enter the incubator concept . While the term is often used interchangeably with accelerators, it is not exactly the same thing. Although the end goal is to help fledgling startups gain their footing, launch and successfully enter the market, the way incubators go about it is different. Read on to find out more about the general purpose of business incubators and what is needed before applying to one. What Is A Business Incubator? Ignore the marketing speak and jargon because the concept is very straightforward. Breaking down what a startup business incubator is requires nothing more than considering what the actual piece of...

Snap Announces The Black Creator Accelerator Inaugural Class That Will Receive A Total Of $3M In Funding

Earlier this year, Snap announced the Black Creator Accelerator — a program to help remove systemic barriers for Black creators. Now, the social media giant is in celebratory mode for its inaugural class.

Sep 20, 2022

Snap's Giving 25 Black Creators $10K A Month To Help Them Launch Careers

Snap is looking to support Black talent on their journey toward securing the bag. During VidCon 2022, the social platform announced a new accelerator program for emerging Black creators, TechCrunch reports. Under Snap’s 523 initiative, 25 program selectees will be paid $10,000 monthly for a year — totaling $120,000. The $3 million funding is intended to help Black creators thrive on social media through their platform. In addition, Google Pixel, UNCMMN, and Westbrook Media have hopped on board to partner with the new program. “Black creators face unique systemic barriers across the creator industry — from disparities in compensation and attribution, to toxic experiences and more,” the company wrote in a press release, according to the outlet. “We believe one of the ways we can help remove some of those barriers is to provide mentorship and financial resources to emerging Black creators in the early stages of their professional career.” 523 launched in December 2021 as a move to...

Jun 24, 2022

Twitter And Amazon Back Accelerator Program For Entrepreneurs Of Color

There is no secret about some of the historical challenges that communities of color have faced in the United States. People of color have documented accounts of the hurdles that can impede success, particularly around wealth and ownership. However, none of that stopped the thousands of business owners and innovators from being successful despite the challenges. To copy the words of Atlanta-based HBCU Clark Atlanta University , people of color continue to “find a way or make one.” Regardless of the grit and hustle it sometimes takes to overcome policies and systems designed to hinder success, business owners of color persist. Some of this persistence comes from the assistance of individuals and organizations that recognize the struggle and are willing to be more than allies. They are looking to be accomplices.

May 3, 2022

Melissa Allen Lands Executive Director Role At Accelerator Program Empowering The Youth

Furthering the success of the accelerator program League of Innovators (LOI), Melissa Allen will ring in the new year as the Executive Director. Melissa Allen will replace Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber who served for six years with the company. “Joanna’s leadership has paved a perfect path for whoever came next. And today we’re thrilled to share who will be taking up the baton,” Board Member Manny Padda said in a press release provided to AfroTech. “Melissa is above and beyond what we asked for and we can’t wait to see her join us in full capacity in the New Year. For the new Executive Director, our board wanted to find someone that’s restless about innovation and diligent about execution. Melissa’s background and references largely spoke to that.”

Dec 7, 2021

Fiverr Awards $24K To Five Black-Owned Businesses In Its Business Accelerator Fellowship

Companies continue to create opportunities and resources for Black entrepreneurs, and now Fiverr — an Israeli online freelancer platform — is one of the latest to support. The platform has launched the Future Collective Fellowship Program, a business accelerator fellowship for Black entrepreneurs, according to Zenger. In the act of Fiverr joining the movement toward equality for Black-owned businesses, five businesses were selected for the program’s inaugural class and each will receive $24,000. The program is also backed up by 1863 Ventures, a Black-led and D.C.-based nonprofit organization and Maestra, a women of color-owned business strategy firm. “Fiverr’s purpose is to provide anyone, no matter their race, religion, background or beliefs, the opportunity to build their business, brand or dreams. The U.S. is our largest market and therefore it’s incumbent upon us to use our platform and resources to help our community there however we can,” said Fiverr CMO Gali Arnon. Along with...

Oct 11, 2021

Apple's Impact Accelerator Program Showcases Black And Brown Businesses With Green Tech Solutions

Apple is continuing its fight against systemic barriers with another equity initiative to uplift Black and brown tech founders. Today, Apple unveiled a class of 15 Black and brown-owned businesses developing innovative green technology and clean energy solutions joining the tech giant’s Impact Accelerator program. As part of the program, these businesses have committed to support equity and opportunity in the environmental sector while also advancing change for communities most impacted by climate change. According to an announcement, the 15 businesses come from cities all across the U.S. — including Silicon Valley in California and Detroit, MI — that have demonstrated innovation in environmental sectors like energy efficiency, solar, green chemistry, recycling, and more. The focus of this program is to allow these founders and innovators to offer clean energy, opportunity and vital services to underserved communities nationwide. Photo Credit: Apple “We are thrilled to welcome our...

Aug 17, 2021

Here's How Monica Wheat Will Lead Techstars' Equitech Accelerator

Techstars tapped Detroit entrepreneurial leader Monica Wheat to lead its Equitech Accelerator as managing director (MD). Wheat is the co-founder and executive director of Venture Catalysts, a nonprofit ecosystem development group focusing on programming, funding, strategy and business development for entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 2016, the nonprofit has been putting on large-scale events and strategic programs. Most notably, Venture Catalysts helped Backstage Capital launch their global accelerator program in Detroit, Los Angeles, and London. Wheat told AfroTech it’s been a challenge running an events nonprofit during the pandemic. While she was grateful for all the new business rolling in, Wheat said her team did get overwhelmed. “We doubled and tripled down on our deal flow and connections and did strategy sessions and programming throughout 2020 and 2021,” Wheat said. “We are mostly a volunteer organization and I must hype the praises for my team who did so much to help...

Jul 31, 2021

Amazon Announces $150M Black Business Accelerator To Promote Black Entrepreneurship

Amazon is announcing an ambitious plan that aims to drive economic equity for Black entrepreneurs across America. The tech giant has shared that it’s launching its own Black Business Accelerator (BBA) — in partnership with the Amazon Black Employee Network (BEN) and a coalition of strategic partners — to target the barriers created by systemic racism that prevent access, opportunity and advancement for Black business-owners in the U.S. According to a company blog post, the $150 million initiative strives to both generate sustainable equity and promote growth for these Black-owned businesses over the next four years by providing financial assistance, business education, mentorship as well as marketing and promotion of their brands as third-party sellers in their online store. “Selling online, particularly through Amazon, is a powerful economic opportunity for entrepreneurs,” Brandi Neloms — Manager at Amazon — said to Small Business Trends. “This program unlocks the full opportunity...

Jun 15, 2021

Google To Continue Accelerator Program, Launches 40,000 Developer Scholarships

This week, Google announced plans to continue its accelerator program for African startups as well as launch 40,000 new developer scholarships for those spread across mobile and cloud development tracks in the continent. The new slate of scholarships — created in partnership with tech talent companies Pluralsight and Andela — will be granted to both beginner and intermediate developers who reside in Africa. At the end of Google’s training, it will then award 1,000 full scholarships to the top students, certifying them in either Android or Cloud development. According to an announcement from Google, the ongoing accelerator program will be opening up applications in 17 African countries — including Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe — for its sixth class in an effort to both recognize Africa’s exceptional digital talent and provide critical support to startups. “Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first...

Apr 30, 2021

Aveeno® Awards $100K Grants to Two Black Women As Part of Its Skin Health Startup Accelerator Program

Back in December of last year, Aveeno® announced the launch of a new accelerator program dedicated to creating more diversity, inclusivity, and equity in the skincare industry for Black women. Today, the brand — in partnership with leading media, tech, and commerce company ESSENCE — announced the winners of its accelerator program who will receive funds toward their business goals. According to a press release, Dr. Isfahan Chambers Harris — founder of Alodia Hair Care™ — is the first-ever recipient of the Aveeno Skin Health Startup Accelerator. She will receive tools, resources, ongoing mentorship, a feature in ESSENCE’s e-commerce portal — ShopEssence — as well as a $100,000 grant to grow her business. “I’m honored to be the first Black women entrepreneur Grand Prize winner of the Aveeno® Skin Health Startup Accelerator program,” Dr. Isfahan said in a statement. “This is substantial in helping my company grow our business and fill a need that Black women consumers are searching for...

Mar 23, 2021

Audio Chat App Clubhouse Announces Accelerator Program to Fund Creatives on Its Platform

Social media’s buzziest audio-chat app is now inviting creatives to join its accelerator program. This past Sunday, Clubhouse announced the launch of its Clubhouse Creator First program which aims to help aspiring creators and hosts on the app build up their audiences, connect with brands, and also monetize their shows, The Verge reports. Among this week’s Town Hall updates, Clubhouse shares that it will be choosing 20 creators to mold and support and help bring more value to the app’s buzzy model. The platform’s application asks a plethora of questions for prospective Clubhouse influencers, including which platforms they’re currently active on, their current reach, tools that would be most helpful on the app, shows they’d like to develop, and more. Today’s Town Hall Updates: We are launching our first creator accelerator program, Clubhouse Creator First. We are looking to support and equip 20 creators w/ resources they need to bring their ideas and creativity to life. Details and...

Mar 15, 2021

These Programs are Helping Detroit’s Tech Entrepreneurs Succeed

Finding a dedicated program for entrepreneurs not only helps you grow your business but maintain your sanity in the process. While it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can run, manage, and scale a business on your own; a business can’t grow without support. Beyond day-to-day funding support, at some point, you’ll need strategic guidance and direction — especially when you’re ready to scale. What got you here won’t get you there. Feelings of hopelessness and isolation are also prevalent for entrepreneurs. Should I quit or stay in the game? I’ve tried everything, and nothing is working. To help you avoid burnout, find resources and uncover the blind spots preventing you from reaching the next level of success, a diverse professional network is crucial. Even founder of FUBU and “Shark Tank” investor, Daymond John, said: “Mentors are one of the main reasons why people are successful.” If you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring business owner located in or around Detroit, you’re in...

Jan 16, 2020