Tech Diversity in Action: Startup52 accepting applications for its Summer 2016 acceleration class
Applications are open for the Startup52 Summer 2016 Acceleration program. We are in search of great tech ventures and founders for our second class.
Our program is an intensive 12-week curriculum that is designed to help teams with branding and product development, operations, growth and distribution, sales and marketing, and funding, while having fun. Teams are provided with mentorship, workspace, legal, HR and accounting guidance, and exposure to leading Angel and Venture Capital investors during and after the program. Other perks include access to business and engineering experts, interns, and lots of other resourceful incentives and deals from partners like Amazon, Indiegogo, Microsoft, SendGrid, GUST and many more.
Application deadline is April 30th and prospective applicants can apply at startup52.com/apply. Program runs from June 6th through August 26th in New York City.
Brian Asingia and Franco Abbott, cofounders of DreamAfrica, another one of the startups from batch one also had this to say, “Startup52 provided us with access to office space, mentors and investors. DreamAfrica was able to focus on rebranding, traction and operations streamlining as well as refining our business model to be sustainable and impactful. We have since launched in schools in Kenya with government funding and updated our DreamAfrica app to focus on accessibility and availability of engaging and educational African multimedia content for children under 12 years. Some Startup52 mentors have stayed on as part of our Advisory Board and continue to guide our management team. Startup52 continues to provide us with follow on support needed to solidify our growth story. DreamAfrica is proud to call Startup52 home to diverse entrepreneurship.”
Startup52 is currently NYC’s first and only tech accelerator solely focused on diversity. Our goal is to find innovative teams that comprise of at least one founder from an under-served community in tech, as well as those focused on development in emerging markets like Africa. While we do not discriminate, we favor ventures with founding teams comprised at least in part of our target communities. Untapped Communities include people of color, women, entrepreneurs who are veterans, seniors, identify as LGBTQ, with disability, new immigrants and more. Our goal is to increase diversity in the tech and startup spaces. However, teams without the preferred diversity profiles are still strongly encouraged to apply. Startup52 works with all startups to understand the importance of diversity, how to embrace it, and how to increase their diversity profiles as they grow.
According to Jack McNamara, CEO of TRU Inc., who was part of the inaugural class and went on to raise over $22,000 on Kickstarter, “Startup52 gave our product, TruEnergy, a real chance when most other accelerators and incubators wouldn’t. Since then, we have participated in Food-X, received VC investment, and are planned to launch in June. Chike made himself available 24/7 and gave us access to all his resources; including some very knowledgeable advisers. We owe him and his team a lot of gratitude for helping us get to where we are today.”
Chike Ukaegbu, founder of Startup52, who recently completed the Venture Capital Unlocked program run by 500 Startups and Stanford University, believes that diversity should be a required metric for evaluating founder teams. According to him, “Diversity is very profitable, successful, drives innovation and in fact increases the fun factor of a cohesive group, and thus, should increase the likelihood of success”.
Here are some of the things he considers in evaluating teams –
Viability: We prefer ventures with low capital barriers to entry. We also look at the market size, market impact and scalability.
Team Dynamics: What is the diversity profile of the founding team, track record, passion, attitude, hustle and excitability factor
Industry: We prefer ventures that can prove early hypothesis with minimal investment
Exit Opportunity: How fundable are you and how viable is your potential exit plan
So think you got what it takes? Apply today to be considered for the next Startup52 class. Applications for the next class are due on Saturday, April 30th, 2016. Evaluations, interviews and decisions will be conducted on a rolling basis. To apply, please visit startup52.com/apply
Tags: blacks in tech, diveristy-in-tech, diversity, entrepreneurship, hispanics in tech, startups, tech, women in tech