Techstars and HBCUvc Launch 10-City Startup Weekend Tour to Promote Diversity in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital
Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and HBCUvc, a nonprofit fellowship program providing Black and Latinx students with training and mentorship in venture capital, today announced the launch of a joint 10-city Startup Weekend tour across the country. The series of events will take place at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutes (HSIs) across the U.S.
Techstars and HBCUvc partnered on this initiative to increase the representation of young black and brown entrepreneurs in each startup ecosystem and ultimately create jobs and wealth opportunities for communities of color, which are traditionally underrepresented in the VC and startup landscape. This is the first endeavor of its kind aimed to specifically reach HBCU students, who account for 60 percent of all black engineers in the country.
Each three-day Startup Weekend allows attendees to connect with like-minded individuals looking to build something new, pitch new startup ideas to a panel of judges and learn what it takes to start their own company. In just 54 hours, participants will experience the highs, lows, fun and pressure that make up life at a startup.
“We’re excited to partner with Techstars, a global accelerator, to bring Startup Weekends to HBCUs,” said Hadiyah Mujhid, Founder and CEO of HBCUvc. “Our partner HBCUs and their students benefit greatly as Techstars Startup Weekend events bring tech entrepreneurs, corporate partners, and investors to the campuses of HBCUs, helping to accelerate our next generation of technology entrepreneurs on our campuses.”
Results from past Techstars Startup Weekend events include the formation of more than 23,000 teams by more than 193,000 entrepreneurs in 150 countries. Some teams even started to generate revenue during the event, while others went on to raise funds from angel investors or venture capitalists.
“This is the vision and promise of an organization like Techstars – opening access and leading the charge in entrepreneurial ecosystem development through collaborating with groups like HBCUvc,” says Monica Wheat, Techstars liaison for the tour, Techstars Startup Programs Lead in Detroit and Founder of Venture Catalysts. “HBCUvc has already been fueling pipeline development work for years. Techstars and these communities are excited to see this program go live and we look forward to all the opportunities it will create.”
This unique initiative will cover five campuses in 2019, with more to follow in 2020. The tour officially kicks off at Howard University in October 2019. Below are the tour stops announced to date:
- Howard University, Washington, D.C. – led by students Shondace Thomas & Cory Lipsey and faculty Legand Burge. (October TBD)
- Fisk University, Nashville, TN– led by student Zahena Dieujuste and faculty Shavonte Hammonds & Nicholas Umontuen. (October 18-20, 2019)
- Prairie View A&M, Prairie View, TX – led by student Bryanna Barnett and faculty Lawrence McNeil. (October 25-27, 2019)
- North Carolina Central University, Chapel Hill, NC – led by student Lyndon Bowen and faculty Undi Hoffler (November 22-24, 2019)
- Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA – led by student Malcolm Beason and faculty Lavonya Jones (February 28-March 1, 2020).
Techstars is committed to being an action-driven thought leader for diversity and inclusion in the tech space. This partnership will directly impact those who choose a career in venture capital and those who become entrepreneurs. HBCU and HSI schools interested in participating should connect with HBCUvc at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested partners and sponsors should contact Monica Wheat at email@example.com.
HBCUvc is a nonprofit organization that trains students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in venture capital and technology entrepreneurship. The organization provides students with venture capital skills training, mentorship, and the opportunity to build professional relationships with seasoned investors and entrepreneurs, and empowers them to fuel high-growth entrepreneurship. This first of its kind program unlocks and fosters entrepreneurship at HBCUs and HSIs and provides students with a unique learning experience that jumpstarts their careers.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars mentorship-driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $23 Billion.