Resources for Black Tech Entrepreneurs

Black tech entrepreneurs have been building safe spaces and online communities for their fellow colleagues in the industry. In these online communities, funding opportunities, discussion boards, events, and information are created and shared. Below is an always-growing list of some of these resources available to Black tech entrepreneurs locally and across the country.

Funding

  • BackstageCrowd: a crowdfund from Backstage Capital to increase investment in underestimated founders from accredited investors interested in putting in $2–5,000
  • Black Men Talk Tech hosted a $1k pitch competition for Black men founders in the South or East.
  • Cocoapreneur Business Resources: searchable database of financial resources sorted by location and type of funding
  • Creative Ecosystems & Funds Supporting Black Folks: “a growing collection of Creative Ecosystems and Funds that support Black people. This list prioritizes Creative Ecosystems and Funds that support Black queer, trans, and nonbinary folks, and Black women.”
  • Harlem Capital hosted a $25k pitch competition for underrepresented founders.
  • Project Cover Organization: $500 grants for something that greatly impacts applicants’ craft/passion/career
  • SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant: rolling application for access to at least (3) $10K and (6) $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs. Application requires minimal information and grantees are chosen at random.

Cohorts & Online Communities

  • Black Tech Nation: dedicated to growing a black tech ecosystem within Pittsburgh’s rapidly growing tech economy
  • Black Women Talk Tech: become a member, subscribe to their newsletter, participate in their COVID relief fund.
  • Future for Us: a platform dedicated to advancing womxn of color at work through community, culture, and career development
  • #HireBlack: helping 10,000 Black womxn get trained, hired, and promoted
  • TL Effect: every quarter they will choose an early-stage consumer-focused company run by a woman of color to help her build and scale a successful business.
  • Paying it Forward: Hundreds of startup founders & executives are committing time to network with Black & Latinx entrepreneurs and job seekers, with no “warm intro” needed
  • Plato Circles for Inclusion: a free mentorship initiative that connects people from underrepresented communities to world-class tech leaders through intimate group mentorship
  • SOCPOC: a platform focused on closing the wealth gap by connecting professionals of color to each other and companies committed to improving diversity

Resource Guides & Additional Information

Past/Closed Opportunities

  • Black Venture Capital Consortium: BVCC is seeking tech-enabled startups domiciled in the US, with a focus on founding teams with at least one Black or Latinx entrepreneur to apply
  • Citizens Bank Minority-Owned Small Business Grant: $15,000 grants for 100 small businesses across the markets serviced by Citizens Bank.
  • gener8tor Lightning Rounds: Investors commit to taking a block of meetings, startups apply to pitch them, and gener8tor facilitates the one-on-one pitches. Lightning Rounds is completely free for both startups and investors. These meetings are for startup founders who identify as Black or Brown. This is a completely free, no-catch initiative to try to help facilitate more investments into Black and Brown startup founders.
  • Glossier Grant Initiative for Black-Owned Beauty Businesses: Black beauty entrepreneurs based in the U.S. can apply for grants of $10K, $30K and $50K, depending on the stage of their business
  • Goldman Sachs Launch With GS Entrepreneur Cohort offered a 6-week, virtual program for Black and Latinx founders and CEOs. Participants gained access to the best of Goldman Sachs — from industry experts to influential networks — while building relationships with investors during the evolving business landscape.
  • Gumroad Grant for Small Black Businesses: is giving 10 $500 business grants to small Black businesses.
  • Lowe’s-LISC Grant for Minority or Women-Owned Small Businesses: grants to small business owners to help meet their most immediate needs
  • PayPal Empowerment Grant for Black Businesses: “$530 Million commitment to support Black businesses, strengthen minority communities, and fight economic inequality”
  • SoGal Build Without Burnout for Black Entrepreneurs: a small cohort to increase resilience, accelerate leadership development, and find support from your peers and an expert coach
  • Visa-IFundWomen Grant Program for Black women-owned businesses: Visa has extended its partnership with IFundWomen to support Black women-owned small businesses in the United States through a new grant program and educational resources. These grants provide an opportunity for recipients to grow their businesses and continue to offer much needed services to their local (and global) communities.
  • Womxn in Tech PGH: is giving away five free one-year memberships to Treehouse’s online coding platform to queer BIPOC womxn with priority going to Black applicants.

Know of any resources we’re missing? Please email ahartkopf[at]innovationworks.org

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Innovation Works is one of the nation’s most active seed funds. AlphaLab (AL), ALGear, and ALHealth are nationally ranked startup accelerator programs of IW.