Accelerator. Incubator. Ecosystem Builder. Social Capital. These words are commonly used in the startup world, but can feel like jargon to those unfamiliar with the entrepreneurship space. They describe the partners and resources that are essential in an entrepreneur’s journey—mentors, education and connections that help founders succeed. Harvard Kennedy School refers to social capital as “the collective value of all ‘social networks’ (who people know) and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other (‘norms of reciprocity’).” Basically, social capital ensures that you are connected to the right people who will provide you with trusted information, collaboration and partnerships. Social capital is particularly important when an entrepreneur is just starting out and needs advisors who have been there before and connections to funders who are willing to work with them to build a business.
At the Case Foundation, we believe that the next era of entrepreneurship is about leveling the playing field, expanding participation and scaling the networks of social, financial and inspiration capital that provide the foundation for successful startups and scalable business. We partner with social capital networks providing important connections, training and mentorships for entrepreneurs, as well as the investors and influencers working to change the way capital flows to diverse entrepreneurs. Incubators for those just starting out, accelerators for those looking to grow and the ecosystem builders generally paving the way for entrepreneurs to succeed.
All entrepreneurs have similar needs—mentorship, funding, role models—but not all entrepreneurs have equal access to those resources. We see disproportionate funding going to white male entrepreneurs and underrepresentation of women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color in most major incubator and accelerator programs. When only a portion of the entrepreneurship community has access to the stepping stones needed to grow their business, it’s no wonder most of the breakout companies we laud in our society are founded by white men. To combat this trend, we have committed to catalyzing the inclusive entrepreneurship movement and launched #FacesofFounders to shed more light on the diverse entrepreneurs scaling businesses and important conversations around inclusive entrepreneurship we must have to change how our culture views entrepreneurship.
Fortunately, more and more entrepreneurship programs are being set up with intentionality around creating on-ramps for women entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs of color. Whether it’s a network for women only or an existing accelerator that has benchmarks for inclusion among its cohort, entrepreneurship supporters are getting serious about providing the resources diverse founders need to be successful.
To learn more about these inclusion-focused accelerators, incubators and ecosystem builders, we’ve put together a list to get you started. These organizations are committed to the inclusive entrepreneurship movement, taking action within their organizations to support diverse entrepreneurs and leaders in the field demonstrating the value of providing underrepresented groups of entrepreneurs with access to capital, networks and support. We are proud to be working to advance inclusive entrepreneurship alongside these organizations and the many more out there committed to this work!
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500 Startups is a seed fund & a network of startup programs. Founded by PayPal & Google alums. Born in Silicon Valley, the #500STRONG family is worldwide.
The ‘Startup Capital of the South’ and one of ten Google for Entrepreneur Tech Hubs. We are home to more than 275 startups in downtown Durham & Raleigh.
Dedicated to increasing the number of successful black entrepreneurs in tech.
Black Tech Week
Black Tech Week is a week long series of events in Miami, Florida celebrating innovators of color. firstname.lastname@example.org
Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus entrepreneurship program offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. http://t.co/eBdvnPhkvo
Blueprint + Co
The workplace that works for you.
Empowering diverse leaders to #changetheworld. #socent #BCorp #impinv #startups #techinclusion16 https://t.co/8qMdI23qfd by @mbrianaepler @waynesutton & team
A collaborative startup accelerator serving a thriving community of globally minded women entrepreneurs.
Top black and latinx tech talent. Founders @tristanwalker + @laurawp. Follow the CODE2040 family: https://t.co/BS9giAiF33
We are an entrepreneurship, employment, and leadership training program that serves people with criminal histories.
digitalundivided (DID) fosters economic growth through the empowerment of women of color entrepreneurs.
We are a 12-week pre-accelerator program focused on championing diversity in the tech startup ecosystem.
Latest happenings from the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Google for Entrepreneurs
News and updates from Google for Entrepreneurs.
A community that provides mentorship, peer-support, and a discovery experience for select startups and entrepreneurs
Supports early stage social entrepreneurs through an immersive 18-month fellowship program
Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) – D.C’s first co-working, training, & incubator space intentional about diversity & inclusion. #FindYourIn by @luma_lab 💡
We are a nationally recognized nonprofit that unlocks the full potential of diverse & ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities.
Fostering economic independence by advancing education & entrepreneurship. RTs ≠ endorsements. House Rules https://t.co/963BVtcqVu
The Kapor Center is relentlessly pursuing creative strategies to leverage tech for positive, progressive change.
Latino Startup Alliance
To encourage the inspiration & cultivation of Latino led tech startup ventures by providing a support network of fellow innovators, mentors & investors.
Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center
The #startup for startups! Designed to #educate, #innovate, and connect #entrepreneurs – all free of charge. Grow your ideas. Get inspired. Tell your story!
Break through with New Profit. https://t.co/mRBW5FClRb
The Pink Ceiling
Propelling Breakthroughs for Women | Strategy + Investing | Mentorship Through the #Pinkubator | All Woman Team | Founder Cindy Whitehead @cindypinkceo
PowerMoves is about creating power through opportunity – the opportunity of high growth minority Traditional & Tech Entrepreneurship.
Project Entrepreneur ignites bold ideas by providing women access to the tools, training and networks needed to build scalable, economically impactful companies
#SocEnt incubator w/ locations in Washington, D.C. & Phoenix, AZ. Educating, accelerating & investing in entrepreneurs creating solutions to social problems.
Through Sephora Stands, we will use our strengths to promote even greater good by supporting female entrepreneurs in beauty, our communities, and our people.
Social Innovation Lab
Social Innovation Lab at @JohnsHopkins – Accelerating ventures that create change and opportunity in Baltimore and beyond. Director: @DariusG
Tory Birch Foundation
The official Tory Burch Foundation tweets.
An early stage venture fund for immigrant founders to create economic value in the U.S.
We democratize entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs themselves build and invest in world-changing companies. A new type of VC.
Women’s Startup Lab
Leading Women’s Startup Accelerator in Silicon Valley. Be Exceptional. Be Extraordinary. Be the Impact.
For more data on accelerators and the entrepreneurs they serve, check out the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative led by the Aspen Institute and Emory University at https://www.galidata.org/.
Have other tips for choosing an entrepreneurship program? A program or ecosystem builder you’ve seen that’s committed to inclusive entrepreneurship? We know there are many more out there! Share them with us at FacesofFounders.org or on Twitter with hashtag #FacesofFounders.