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Our community is growing. Will you help us build a more inclusive ecosystem?
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We started with a mission to support underrepresented founders in our local community, while building a more inclusive startup ecosystem. With the support of our county government and small group of mentors, we launched our 1st cohort of 8 underrepresented entrepreneurs back in 2019. In 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, we graduated our 2nd cohort which supported 30 entrepreneurs in Delaware, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, & even Kenya. Just before bringing in the new year, we celebrated our most recent cohort, which included 120 entrepreneurs from 40 states & 3 countries. Needless to say, we’re driven by our mission, and we’re only just getting started. This year, we’re focused on positioning ourselves to serving all founders that need our support. Given all that’s happened in the world since we launched, it’s evident that purpose-driven founders are the heroes the world deserves. It’s our collective genius that contributes all of the answers and resources that our community needs to thrive.
The purpose of this newsletter is to create value through sharing resources, highlighting our founder community, and lifting as we climb. It’s been an incredible journey thus far, and we’re grateful to you for being a very important part of it.
Garry Johnson III
Founder & Executive Director
This week, we launch our new Community Sessions happening weekly on Wednesdays from 7pm-9pm ET. This is simply a time to get your startup questions answered, practice your pitch, and connect with the entire community. Each session is free & open to all who want to join in. Register Here!
Congratulations to Abu Kamara, Cohort #2 grad & Cofounder of GetPotluck, for joining First Founders Inc. as our newest Entrepreneur in Residence! Abu will be supporting the growth of our founder community while making progress with his startup. We’re grateful to have him on the team!
The finals of our Podcast Pitch Competition will be held on February 24th from 7pm-9pm ET. Three teams will win $10,000 in prizes. Check out next week’s newsletter to learn how you can support the participating startups and vote on who makes it to the final round!
Free Resources & Upcoming Opportunities
NFLPA Pitch Day gives women- and minority-led early-stage companies a chance to present their products and business plans in front of an elite group of judges, athletes and potential investors. Our goal is to empower women- and minority-led businesses by providing a platform to pitch their innovative products and services. Participating startups are competing for access to funding, mentorship and the NFLPA’s unique assets which may include group licensing rights. Register for the February 3rd event here. [thanks to Jannice]
Startup 302 is a Delaware-based funding competition for technology-enabled startups led by underrepresented founders. Winners will receive prize money, access to mentors, and valuable connections. Innovation thrives when diverse perspectives are fostered and included.
Prize awards include a mix of grant-based, investment and in-kind prizes with a current total value of more than $150K (and counting). Startups will also benefit from engagement with investors, industry and key influencers. Application deadline is FEBRUARY 12, 2021 [thanks to Noah]
The Black Ambition Prize provides a platform for eligible entrepreneurs to access growth capital, pitch feedback, and mentorship. Eligible applicants consist of Black and Latinx founders building across these distinct categories: Consumer Products and Services, Design, Healthcare, and Tech.
Black Ambition’s goal is to fund bold ideas, and to help reduce barriers to capital. Black and Latinx entrepreneurs will be eligible to receive mentorship and win up to $1,000,000 in funding. Applications Due 02.18 [thanks to Earl]
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