1000 Black Voices set to remove hurdles for Black tech founders

New partnership with British Consulate launches accelerator programme

1000 Black Voices and The British Consulate, New York, have joined forces to accelerate the growth ambitions of Black tech founders.

The partnership is launching an accelerator programme aimed at breaking down barriers faced by Black tech founders when scaling and growing their businesses. The programme is set to launch on September 21st and will run until December 2022. Founders from around the globe will be able to benefit from technical advice, mentorship and funding in the accelerator.

While diversity and inclusion in the tech sector has made some headway in recent years, there is still a long way to go. People of colour and women still receive too little venture funding, and tech companies are moving at a glacial pace towards building diverse workplaces. 

The accelerator will allow Black tech founders with ambitions to grow their business in the USA to participate in a trade mission to New York City in December. Alongside this, founders will also benefit from mentoring sessions and advice from partner organisations such as: Nasdaq, Barclays Rise, Wilson Sonsini, SAP.io, Microsoft, Davis Wright Tremaine, Velocity Juice, and the British Consulate in New York. 

The accelerator is open to any applicant that is a tech business led by representatives of the Black community (meaning 50% or more of the board and senior management team are from Black backgrounds and are making the key strategic decisions for the company). Other requirements are that the business offers an innovative technical solution, has a minimum viable product and has achieved traction before the incubator.

1000 Black Voices, an organisation dedicated to advancing equitable inclusion, brings a first-hand understanding of Black struggles and a positive, practical approach to overcoming, as well as experience running its 1000 Black Voices accelerator, which has been working with Black founders since 2020. 

Dr Elizabeth Shaw, founder of 1000 Black Voices, said: “Ultimately, a lack of venture funding has resulted in an extremely difficult environment for marginalised founders to tackle and get their businesses off the ground.

“We are delighted to launch our newest accelerator to resolve this issue directly and provide Black tech founders with all the support required to overcome such hurdles. We continue to act for change and help bring diverse perspectives to the tech industry, resulting in increased recognition and funding for diverse founders as well as increased innovation that will positively impact the tech industry and all communities”

Emma Wade-Smith, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to North America and Consul General New York at the British Consulate, New York, said, “We are passionate about supporting 1000 Black Voices’ mission to break down the hurdles that Black founders face when scaling their businesses.

“Working with an organisation like 1000 Black Voices enables us to leverage our shared commitment to make real improvements to the ability of Black founders to grow their startups, including by expanding into the US market.”

If you are a Black founder of a tech company that would like to find out more about the accelerator and apply, please visit the website here.  

What you learned in this article:

  • Black tech founders to benefit from technical advice and mentorship 
  • Founders on the programme with ambitions to grow in the US will have the opportunity to participate in a Trade Mission to New York City in December
  • 12-week accelerator launching on September 21st 2022 

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