The Founder Institute was founded in 2009 with a belief that there are talented people everywhere that can be empowered to make an impact on the world, regardless of location, education, race, gender, or language.

As such, we wholeheartedly stand beside the Black Americans pushing for positive change, fairness, compassion, and opportunity for all.

Borrowing methodologies from our Female Founder Initiative, which has helped to significantly increase the number of women business leaders in our accelerator programs, we are announcing the launch of the Black American Founder Fellowship for all of our U.S. chapters, forever.  

Through this program, any Black American founder in the United States who is building a startup (or who has an idea for a startup) can apply to any Founder Institute chapter in the United States for free below, and the top applicants in each program will receive free access to our pre-seed accelerator program.


Why We Are Doing This 

The benefits of freedom and the free market are accessible by too few. Not only is this immoral, it also limits our progress and potential as a society.

Providing a fellowship for Black founders will help make entrepreneurship more accessible, and it will also improve the potential outcomes for all founders in the Founder Institute program. 

Consider the following:  

  1. Diverse founding teams regularly outperform homogenous leadership. This leads to added economic value and the potential for better outcomes through Founder Institute’s Equity Collective

  2. Intentionally including Black Americans in our pre-seed accelerator program provides everyone an opportunity to expand their startup network. This leads to exponential results on the diversification of the global technological landscape.

  3. Founder Institute continually seeks to improve, and this fellowship is one part of our plan to make the program more inclusive.


Build a Company with the Founder Institute

The Founder Institute is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator. Through a challenging and rigorous curriculum, we provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the structure, training, mentor feedback, global network, and lifetime of support needed to start an enduring company. 


Who Should Apply?

The Founder Institute focuses on founders instead of ideas. If you are talented and motivated to do the work required to build an enduring tech or tech-enabled company, then we want to hear from you. This includes aspiring founders with a full-time job, solo founders, teams, and founders of established companies that are pre-funding.


What to Expect?

To qualify for the Black American Founder Fellowship for Washington DC Fall 2022 Founder Institute, you must complete your application below. 

After completing the application below, you will be invited to take our Entrepreneur DNA Assessment, which is our main criteria for evaluating applicants. If you would like to learn more about our Admissions Process and review criteria, visit

The recipient of the Fellowship will be notified within a week of the Final Admissions Deadline for the Washington DC Fall 2022 program (Oct 30, 2022). 


Not Ready?

If you want to learn more, our Overview page is a good place to start.



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