Applications for Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator’s first virtual cohort close Feb. 1

Black woman tech worker using computer

A United States accelerator is currently accepting applications for its first cohort, from Black-led startups globally, and the deadline is fast approaching.

Applications for the gener8tor-powered accelerator’s new 12-week tech-focused program, which will be hosted completely virtually due to COVID-19, close this Monday, February 1.

Given that it will take place entirely online, applications are open to Black-led startups across the world, including Canada. Participating companies will receive a $100,000 USD investment, one-on-one coaching from gener8tor and Northwestern Mutual’s network of mentors, investors, and industry experts.

Applications for Black-led tech startups close this Monday.

Eligible startups include those with at least one Black or African American-identifying founder, co-founder, or CEO, a minimum of 20 percent equity ownership held by one or more held by a Black person. These individuals must also play a significant role in the firm’s decision-making process.

Companies also need to fit Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures’ key investment priorities: building for consumers’ changing financial preferences, reimagining the client experience, the digital health revolution, and transformational analytics and technologies.

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The program aims to support Black entrepreneurs and help address the lack of venture capital (VC)-funded Black founders. According to Transparent Collective, less than one percent of VC money annually goes to Black-founded startups. James Norman, founder and CEO of market research platform Pilotly, wrote in the Harvard Business Review this is because “VC investors, who are largely white, aren’t good at recognizing and developing Black entrepreneurs,” and as a result, “are missing out on significant opportunities.”

The Milwaukee-based program intends to make five $100,000 investments in its spring cohort, which will run from March 4 to May 28. The accelerator plans to run up to two cohorts per year, each with five startups. Applications for its fall 2021 cohort, which is currently set to take place in person, will close in early August.

Image by Christina of WOCinTechChat via Unsplash

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh is a journalist interested in telling Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.