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According to CB Insights data, only one percent of venture capital-backed tech companies are founded by black and African American entrepreneurs.

The Founder Institute's mission is to empower communities of talented and motivated people to build businesses that positively impact the world, no matter their location, background, race, age, or sexual orientation. Below is a list of people and organizations working to help black American founders build and grow businesses across the United States, throughout each stage of the entrepreneurial journey.

This is just a V1 draft, and while we spent many hours on this research, more input is needed. Please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list. There are definitely omissions on this current version, and we're happy to have assistance from anyone who can help us in improving this resource!

Below we have included a text version, for ease of searching & hyperlinking to all resources:

Startup Stages


There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. Idea Stage

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

A. Inspire

  • Startup Media: Centralized information, listings, and news around African American entrepreneurship (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters, etc)
  1. AfroTech
  2. Black Enterprise - Technology
  3. Black Excellence
  4. Black Tech Women
  5. Black Wall Street
  6. Black Women Talk Tech Blog
  7. Blacks in Technology Stories
  8. Blavity
  9. Good Black News
  10. People of Color in Tech
  11. Startup Digest Diversity & Inclusion
  12. ThePLUG
  13. UrbanGeekz
  • Inspirational Events: Open, inclusive, beginner startup events specifically for African American entrepreneurs/ aspiring entrepreneurs (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
    1. AfroTech Conference
    2. BITCon
    3. Black is Tech Conference
    4. Black Tech Boston
    5. Black Technology Professionals - BTP NY
    6. Black Wall Street: Homecoming
    7. Black Women Talk Tech
    8. BlackByte
    9. BlackTech Miami
    10. Blacktech Week
    11. Graveti
    12. MiTECH
    13. TCX
    14. Tech Inclusion
    15. TechFam
    16. Texas Black Expo

B. Educate

  • Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing events specifically for African American entrepreneurs/ aspiring entrepreneurs (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspirate, like 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, Startup Founder 101, etc).
    1. < BLK hack >
    2. 1 Million Cups
    3. ATL Black Tech
    4. Black Blockchain: New York
    5. Black Founders
    6. Blacks in Technology
    7. Blacks in Technology: Dallas
    8. Blacks in Technology: Los Angeles
    9. Blacks in Technology: San Diego
    10. Blacks in Technology: Washington, DC
    11. Black Tech Matters
    12. Black Tech Nation
    13. Chicago Blacks in Technology
    14. Cincinnati Blacks In Technology Meetup
    15. ImBlackInTech
    16. Knox St. Studios
    17. PDX Blacks in Technology Meetup
    18. Startup Founder 101
    19. Startup Grind
    20. The Black Mastermind Group
  • Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development organizations that are either 100% focused on African Americans, or have specific programs geared towards increasing African Americans in entrepreneurship. (Ex. bootcamps and comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, General Assembly, Lean Startup Machine, code camps, etc)
    1. Afro Tech DC
    2. Alchemy Code Lab
    3. All Star Code
    4. American Underground
    5. Baltimore Black Entrepreneurs & Startup Founders
    6. Black and Brown Founders
    7. Black Code Collective
    8. Black Men Code
    9. Black Technologist
    10. BLKTECHCLT
    11. City Startup Labs
    12. Code Fellows
    13. Code Success @ NSBE
    14. Code2040
    15. Coding Dojo
    16. DevPoint Labs
    17. Flatiron School
    18. Founder Institute
    19. Galvanize
    20. General Assembly
    21. Grand Circus
    22. Hack Reactor
    23. Launch Academy
    24. Lean Startup Machine
    25. Metis
    26. National BDPA
    27. New Orleans Black Tech Collective
    28. New Relic Bootcamp Diversity Scholarship
    29. SEED SPOT
    30. Startup Institute
    31. StartupBus Advancing Black Entrepreneurs
    32. Tech Diversified
    33. The Black Upstart
    34. The Hidden Genius Project
    35. We Can Code IT

C. Validate

  • Team Formation: Resources for African American entrepreneurs to team up (i.e. events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching)
    1. Atlanta Minorities in Technology
    2. Bay Area Black Designers
    3. Black Business Association
    4. Black Business Women Rock
    5. Black Career Women's Network
    6. Black Connect
    7. Black Founders of San Francisco Bay Area
    8. Black Professionals Network
    9. Boston Young Black Professionals
    10. CoFoundersLab
    11. Detroit Black Tech
    12. Founder2be
    13. FounderDating
    14. National Black MBA Association
    15. National Society of Black Engineers
    16. NYC Black Designers
    17. Ohio Black Entrepreneurs Network
    18. Organization of Black Designers
    19. RVA Black Women In Tech
    20. Saint Louis Black Entrepreneurs Meetup
    21. Silicon Beach Diversity
    22. South Florida Black Professionals Network
    23. STL Professionals & Entrepreneurs of African Diaspora Meetup
    24. TechCofounder
    25. Technologists of Color 
  • Build First Product: Hackathons & resources to build, specifically for African American entrepreneurs (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources).
    1. Black Developers Meetup
    2. Black Girls Code Hackathon
    3. Black Orlando Tech
    4. Blackspace
    5. Coding in Color
    6. DivHacks
    7. Hack the Gap
    8. HBCUHacks
    9. iD8 Hackathon
    10. LA Makerspace
    11. MBKHEALTH Hackathon 

2. Launch Stage

In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

A. Start

  • Establish: Law firms & banks for startups with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups
    1. Alamerica Bank
    2. Allgaier Patent Solutions
    3. Broadway Federal Bank
    4. Carver Federal Savings Bank
    5. Carver State Bank
    6. Citizens Bank
    7. Citizens Trust Bank
    8. Columbia Savings & Loan Association
    9. Edwards Sutarwalla PLLC
    10. First Independence Bank
    11. FisherBroyles
    12. Foley & Lardner
    13. GN Bank
    14. Industrial Bank
    15. Liberty Bank
    16. Looby Law
    17. M&F Bank
    18. Metro Bank
    19. OneUnited Bank
    20. Optus Bank
    21. The Arthur Firm
    22. The Fairley Firm
    23. The Harbor Bank of Maryland
    24. Tolbert & Tolbert
    25. Tri-State Bank
    26. United Bank of Philadelphia
    27. Unity National Bank
  • Workspace: Co-working and flexible workspaces with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups (note: “official” office space goes in 3.1.a. Infrastructure) 
    1. Bamboo Detroit
    2. Black Dot
    3. Black Tech Union
    4. Blue Lacuna
    5. Business Lounge Dallas
    6. Catalyst Spaces
    7. Coalition Space
    8. Creative Colony
    9. EcoTech Visions
    10. Femology
    11. I/O SPACES
    12. Impact Hub
    13. LA Create Space
    14. MLK Center Indy
    15. Oakstop
    16. Opportunity Hub
    17. OSC Tech Lab
    18. Space Called Tribe
    19. THE COMPOUND COWORK
    20. The Gathering Spot
    21. The Harlem Collective
    22. The Urban Collective
    23. TILA Studios
    24. WeWork
    25. Zora's House

B. Develop

  • Formalize: Accounting, development and HR for early-stage startups, with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups.  
    1. ActOne Group
    2. Adelson Digital
    3. Banks, Finley, White & Company
    4. Creative Juice
    5. DIVERSANT
    6. Grace & Associates CPA
    7. Heyward CPA
    8. Mitchell Titus
    9. MoTek Technologies
    10. Ronnie L. Darden, CPA
    11. StandBy Talent
  • Prepare for Seed: Incubators and advanced mentorship with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup TEAMS)
    1. Bantunium Labs
    2. BIG Incubator
    3. Black Dot
    4. Black Founders Exchange
    5. Chicago Urban League Center for Entrepreneurship
    6. City Startup Labs
    7. Code2040
    8. Google for Startups
    9. Harbor CDC
    10. Inclusive Innovation Incubator
    11. Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center
    12. Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
    13. SMAART Incubator
    14. Shaw University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
    15. The Bronzeville Incubator
    16. The Hood Incubator
    17. The Urban Incubator

C. Launch

  • Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs with programs specifically targeting African Americans in startups (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
    1. 500 Startups
    2. 1871
    3. DivInc
    4. Dreamit
    5. Founder Gym
    6. Hillman Accelerator
    7. Minority Business Accelerator
    8. NewME
    9. Smarter in the City
    10. Startup52
    11. Techstars
    12. The Farm Accelerator
    13. Tumml
    14. Y Combinator
  • Pitch & Demo: Show local startups for investment (i.e. demo days for companies seeking seed investment).
    1. $100,000 Pitch Competition
    2. BIG Incubator Demo Day
    3. Black Founders Exchange Demo Day
    4. Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition
    5. Black is Tech Conference Pitch Competition
    6. DivInc Demo Day
    7. KiwiTech Minority Founders' Demo Day
    8. MVMT50’s $100,000 Pitch Black Competition at SXSW
    9. PitchBlack
    10. The NBMBAA Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

3. Growth Stage

Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

A. Recognition

  • Investor Networking: Connect professional investors with founders, with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups (i.e. events or groups that facilitate connections with professional investors).
    1. Angel Investment Network
    2. Black Angel Tech Fund
    3. Impact America Fund
    4. Culture Shift Weekend
    5. LA Black Investors Club
    6. Portfolia
    7. Startup Angels
  • Major Media: Mainstream local business press, with features specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups (i.e. major local or regional publications that frequently champion businesses.
    1. Black Business
    2. Black Business Journal
    3. Black Enterprise
    4. Black EOE Journal
    5. Insight News
    6. Savoy
    7. The Network Journal

B. Funding

Angels / Micro-VCs: Angel and seed-stage investors 

  • Prominent African American Angels.

    1. Adaora Udoji
    2. Arian Simone
    3. Ati Okelo Williams
    4. Charles Hudson
    5. Darius Sankey
    6. Daymond John
    7. Eghosa Omoigui
    8. Erica Duignan Minnihan
    9. Erik Moore
    10. Eugene Flood
    11. Hamet Watt
    12. Jamison Hill
    13. Jon Gosier
    14. Kanyi Maqubela
    15. Lauren Maillian
    16. Lorine Pendleton
    17. Monique Idlett-Mosley
    18. Monique Woodard
    19. Paul Judge
    20. Rodney Sampson
    21. Stephen DeBerry
    22. Troy Carter
    23. Valerie Mosley
    24. William Crowder
  • Angel Investors with a focus on African Americans and other minorities in startups 
    1. Aydin Senkut
    2. Ben Lin
    3. Benjamin Ling
    4. Bobby Yazdani
    5. Bradley C. Harrison
    6. Chamath Palihapitiya
    7. David Lee
    8. Dharmesh Shah
    9. Felix Shpilman
    10. Garry Tan
    11. Harj Taggar
    12. Jerry Yang
    13. Kal Vepuri
    14. Lance White
    15. Max Levchin
    16. Naval Ravikant
    17. Paul Sethi
    18. Peter Kellner
    19. Ram Shriram
    20. Steve Chen

Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond

  • Prominent African American Venture Capitalists
    1. Adina Tecklu (Khosla Ventures)
    2. Arlan Hamilton (Backstage Capital)
    3. Brian Dixon (Kapor Capital)
    4. Del Johnson (Backstage Capital)
    5. Diane Henry (Rogue Capital Collective)
    6. Earnest Sweat (GreatPoint Ventures)
    7. Edward Dugger III (Reinventure Capital)
    8. Elliott Robinson (Bessemer Venture Partners)
    9. Frederik Groce (Storm Ventures)
    10. Jacqueline Grant (Abingworth)
    11. Javaughn Lawrence (Eniac Ventures)
    12. Jill Ford (Toyota AI Ventures)
    13. Karen Kerr (GE Ventures)
    14. Kesha Cash (Impact America Fund)
    15. Kwame Anku (Black Star Fund)
    16. Lo Toney (Plexo Capital)
    17. Marlon C. Nichols (MaC Venture Capital)
    18. Megan Maloney (General Catalyst)
    19. Mercedes Bent (Lightspeed Venture Partners)
    20. Nasir Qadree (Pier 70 Ventures)
    21. Nicole J. Walker (Baird Capital)
    22. Peter Boyce II (General Catalyst)
    23. Robert F. Smith (Vista Equity Partners)
    24. Shauntel (Poulson) Garvey (Reach Capital)
    25. Tyler Dean (Point72 Ventures)
    26. Tyson Clark (GV)
  • VCs with a focus on African Americans and other minorities in startups 
    1. Aspect Ventures
    2. Authentic Ventures
    3. Backstage Capital
    4. BASE
    5. Black Angel Tech Fund
    6. Blue Run Ventures
    7. Bootstrap Capital
    8. Brightpath Capital Partners
    9. Bronze VC
    10. Catalyst Fund
    11. DiverseCity Ventures
    12. Dreamit Ventures
    13. EchoVC Partners
    14. Fairview Capital
    15. Felicis Ventures
    16. Floodgate
    17. Founders First Capital Partners
    18. GenNx360
    19. Harlem Capital
    20. Humble Ventures
    21. ICV Partners
    22. Impact America Fund
    23. Intel Capital
    24. Kapor Capital
    25. Lowercase Capital
    26. MaC Venture Capital
    27. Precursor Ventures
    28. Reach Capital
    29. Realist Ventures
    30. Reinventure Capital
    31. Ribbit Capital
    32. Social Capital
    33. SoftTechVC
    34. Valmo Ventures
    35. Vista Equity Partners

C. Growth

  • Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance, with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups)
    1. 42Floors
    2. Allstate
    3. Astron Solutions
    4. Athena Alliance 
    5. Atlanta Life
    6. Breather
    7. Cigna Health Insurance
    8. Esurance
    9. Instant Offices
    10. JER HR Group
    11. LoopNet
    12. MetLife
    13. New York Life Insurance Company
    14. OfficeFinder
    15. Out2Enroll
    16. Phillip Rush Center
    17. Regus
    18. SF LGBT Center
    19. Sava Insurance Group
    20. Shaw HR Consulting
    21. State Farm
    22. TechSpace
    23. The Hartford
    24. Turnkey Office Space
  • Expansion: Growth accelerators/consultants, with programs specifically targeting African Americans and other minorities in startups  (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
    1. A.T. Kearney
    2. Accenture
    3. Bain & Company
    4. Booz Allen Hamilton
    5. Boston Consulting Group
    6. Capgemini
    7. Deloitte
    8. Ernst & Young
    9. Gartner
    10. Grant Thornton
    11. Hercorner
    12. KPMG
    13. L.E.K. Consulting
    14. McKinsey & Company
    15. Mercer
    16. North Highland
    17. Oliver Wyman
    18. PwC
    19. Roland Berger
    20. Royal Consulting Firm
    21. Tata Consultancy Services

4. Success Stories

Notable technology companies that were founded by African Americans, or currently have an African American CEO.

  1. 4D Healthware
  2. Andela
  3. Bandwagon
  4. Blavity
  5. Blendoor
  6. Cadre
  7. EnrichHER
  8. FUBU
  9. HireHer
  10. LISNR
  11. Mayvenn
  12. Mercaris
  13. Ovamba
  14. Pathbrite
  15. Pigeonly
  16. PlayVS
  17. PopCom
  18. Quarrio
  19. Rubitection
  20. Soldsie
  21. The Mentor Method
  22. Travel Noire
  23. Uncharted Power
  24. Upsie
  25. Urban One
  26. World Wide Technology

Supporters


To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

Government Startup Resources

Public organizations that facilitate local economic development

  • African American Business Organizations
  1. African American Chamber
  2. African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE
  3. Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative
  4. Greater Houston Black Chamber
  5. Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce
  6. Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce
  7. Minority Business Development Agency
  8. National Black Business Council
  9. National Black Business Support Corporation
  10. National Black Chamber of Commerce
  11. National Black & Latino Council
  12. National Minority Business Council
  13. National Minority Supplier Development Council
  14. New York City Black Chamber of Commerce
  15. U.S. Black Chambers

 

*  *  *

Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the Black American Startup Ecosystem Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a draft, and more input is needed!)

Are you looking to build or scale a pre-seed technology startup? Then apply to the Founder Institute today!

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