One of the greatest challenges that Black-owned startups have faced is access to funding and mentorship. The solution: business accelerators.
A business accelerator is a program with a distinct timeline. Working with a cohort of other startups, entrepreneurs will be exposed to feedback and guidance from mentors who can support taking a business concept from idea to launch. For established businesses, accelerators often provide the opportunity to learn from and later partner with other companies.
In addition, many accelerators also come with funding that will support the business’s ability to grow and scale for success. While the amount of funding and investment opportunities can vary by the accelerator, the chance for startups to be exposed to fundraising is an important step.
Finally, most accelerators include a pitch day, where participants are expected to share their businesses with potential clients, mentors, and investors.
This week, we are highlighting several accelerators that will position entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses.
If you are looking for tools and resources to grow your startup without an investor taking any of your equity, apply for the MassChallenge Accelerator. With more than a decade of supporting startups through accelerators, this program will support businesses learning to collaborate and scale their businesses. More information can be found here. Apply by April 20.
Parallel 18 Accelerator
When we think of Puerto Rico, we often imagine relaxing on a beach. However, Puerto Rico is becoming a hub for innovation in business and technology. Entrepreneurs from all over the world are eligible to participate in a five-month accelerator program held in Puerto Rico that will provide training as well as funding and networking opportunities. Participants are eligible to receive $125,000. Learn more here. Applications are due by April 25.
Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator
Companies with a founding group that is at least 20 percent Black can apply for the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator. Eligible industries include fintech, insurtech, digital health, and data analytics. Awardees will receive a $100,000 investment or convertible note. Learn more information here. Applications are due April 29.
The 100+ Accelerator program invests in companies operating in various stages. Entrepreneurs operating from seed to Series B stage are eligible to participate in a six-month remote accelerator program. Business owners will have the opportunity to participate in training that will position them to grow through partnerships with other companies. Companies will receive support, access to mentorships, and up to $100,000 in funding. More information can be found here. Apply by April 30.