Black Founders: Get your startup off the ground here👇🏾
Get connected to investment circles, industry leaders, mentorship opportunities, and financial support before February 1st, 2021!
What is Nex Cubed?
Nex Cubed is an investor and innovation partner that empowers startups, investors, corporates, and governments to bring new technologies to market, helps rising companies scale, and provides paths to liquidity - the power of three. Over the last three years, Nex Cubed has established itself as a leader in early-stage innovation and acceleration, creating a global ecosystem of 3 industry-specific Centers of Excellence (COEs), 70 investments, 45 partners, 50 strategic advisors, 50 investor advisors, and over 140 mentors.
How does Nex Cubed support Black founders?
At Nex Cubed, we like to think we honor our Black founders all year round through offering them the support and guidance they need to succeed as an entrepreneur. Specifically when it comes to this year’s Black History Month, we plan to highlight and promote all of the Black founders in our portfolio through social media, championing the innovative companies they have launched, or are in the process of launching.
Additionally, one of our recent focuses has been on our HBCU Founder’s Program which aims to provide students and alumni at HBCUs with the means to kickstart their business.
Why did Nex Cubed decide to launch the HBCU Founder’s Program?
Diversity and Inclusion has always been important to us. To date, over 50% of our portfolio is led by female and underrepresented founders. We as an organization believe that if you can do more, you should, so this past summer we decided to launch our HBCU Founder’s Program.
From the beginning, our priority was working directly with university students, with a focus on supporting students and recent alumni from HBCUs. We wanted to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the resources needed to get their startup off the ground by inviting them into the Nex Cubed accelerator network and investment community where they would be able to connect with industry leaders, network with like-minded individuals, and access much-needed mentorship - in addition to financial support. Our philosophy is that this ensures that good ideas don’t die on the vine because there is no one available to help cultivate them.
How many students have participated in the inaugural HBCU Founder’s Program?
To date, we have had over 350 students and alumni from over 50 HBCUs enroll for the program and participate in industry webinars and virtual ideation sessions led by corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and top-tier investors across FinTech, EdTech, Digital Health, and PropTech. The rolling admissions process allows students and alumni from all HBCUs nationwide to participate in the program.
Following this initial stage, applications for our Summer Acceleration Program opened in December and will close Monday, February 1st, 2021. All founders who apply will be invited to pitch their startup ideas to our Nex Cubed team. The final round will consist of pitching an external panel of partners and industry experts, including AT&T and Morgan Stanley.
Each of the founders selected will receive $10,000 in non-dilutive capital, technical resources to develop an MVP, physical working space in Silicon Valley, a business advisor, and over $1M worth of service provider perks and discounts.
It’s been a fantastic year for everyone involved, and we are looking forward to working with our finalists on their business ideas throughout the summer.
What universities have participated in the program?
We wanted to ensure that this program was accessible to students across the HBCU ecosystem, not just the big name universities and colleges. As a result, we reached out to more than 100 HBCUs with the news, in the hopes they would promote it to their student community.
As of today, we’ve had representation from over 50 HBCUs across the nation, and we are confident that as the program grows so too will the number of participating schools.
Why do you think programs like the HBCU Founder’s Program are so important to the startup ecosystem?
It’s pretty common knowledge that there is a lack of diversity in the VC space, and therefore the startup ecosystem, and a lot of work needs to be done in order to improve this.
Although progress is being made, firms largely tend to rely on hiring diverse staff to manage the issue. Rather, they should also hold their teams responsible for identifying investment opportunities outside of their existing networks, partnering with organizations and programs supporting diverse founders, such as our HBCU Founder’s Program.
Our HBCU Founder’s Program also connects entrepreneurs to corporations that can leverage their channels to make introductions to potential customers. In addition, given the most likely liquidity event for startups is via acquisition, introducing entrepreneurs to corporations at an early stage could lead to a positive exit for the founders.
Sign up before February 1st, 2021 here!
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