Developing Diverse Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 2017

We are delighted to announce the release of The Code2040 Residency Program’s first-ever impact report — Developing Diverse Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. In close partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, the Residency (EIR) program has been able to scale and tap into talent in ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley. Over the past two years of piloting this program, we have learned a lot about how best to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs both at home in their regional tech ecosystems as well as on a national scale.

Our Residency program funds Black and Latinx founders in eight cities across America, and connects them to resources, support networks, and trainings. This program not only supports these founders’ success, but also supports efforts to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems that are diverse and inclusive. Through this group of founders, we are discovering the vastly different challenges faced by entrepreneurs of color and the path breaking ways in which they are re-writing the entrepreneur playbook. These founders and their companies give us hope for what is possible when the entrepreneurial landscape is representative of the greater population.

This report details some of the most salient outcomes of our work in 2015–2016: the obstacles and opportunities Black and Latinx founders face, the resources available to help them succeed, and the insights we’ve learned along the way. It pulls not only from the experiences of ten EIRs we’ve worked with over the course of the program, but also from the 187 applicants to the program in 2017. Lastly, it lays out where we, in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, are headed in 2017.

“As we enter our third year working with CODE2040 on the EIR program, we continue to be inspired working alongside these amazing entrepreneurs to build great companies around the country,” said Genna Mckeel, Partnerships Manager at Google for Entrepreneurs. “As we know at Google, innovation doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but is stronger when it’s part of an ecosystem of passionate people, bold ideas and intelligent risk taking. To succeed, we need to draw from a diverse group of people who have access to the networks and resources to bring their ideas to life.”

Here’s a quick preview:

  • In total, our 2016 EIR Cohort has generated $500k in revenue while raising $600k+ in funding.
  • Five of seven Hubs had no tracking mechanism to measure diversity prior to their work with Code2040 and as a result of the Residency they now actively track progress.
  • At American Underground, a third year partner, they went from 11% of teams led by an underrepresented founder in 2014 to 28.4% in 2016. This far exceeds their Bay Area tech company counterparts.
  • All seven have provided programming that is specifically geared towards underrepresented groups, for four of the Hubs this was their first time doing so and as a result Hubs have established baseline membership numbers that will allow us to address areas of growth in 2017.
  • All Hub leadership teams have received inclusion training from Code2040, increasing their skill set around creating and managing diverse ecosystems.

These are just a few examples of the commitment, continued learning, and growth that characterize the incredible entrepreneurs and Hubs with whom we work.

Of course, none of this work would be possible without the incredible vulnerability, transparency, and leadership of our entrepreneurs and hubs. They have allowed us to sit alongside them and ask hard questions about a journey that has no guarantees. We are constantly moved and heartened to watch them re-write the rules. We would like to end by extending our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them, for helping us to take another step towards a world where Black and Latinx founders are able to thrive in both their businesses and their wider communities.

Read the full report here!

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