Investing $200K in BIPOC & Women Founders
BTP interviewed Daniel Acheampong, Co-Founder of Visible Hands, to learn more about their upcoming fellowship program offering a life changing opportunity to underrepresented entrepreneurs💰
Visible Hands is a 14-week, virtual-first fellowship program that supports overlooked talent in building technology startups by providing company-building services and investments of up to $200k.
Applications for their 14-week fellowship launch on March 29th, 2021🚀
Applications are about to open for your fellowship! Your tagline says, “Start as a fellow. Leave as a founder.” Can you tell us a little bit about what that process looks like?
As a fellow, you will begin your journey with us at the announcement of the cohort. This would be approximately 6 weeks before the Fellowship begins. You will begin meeting your cohort as well as the Visible Hands team virtually. Our intent is to prepare you over the 6 weeks to be ready to dive into our validation process beginning Day 1 of our Fellowship. On Day 1 of the 14-week Fellowship, you will begin with our Orientation to bring everyone together and up to speed with our general processes. Each fellow will receive a $25k investment to keep them afloat through the 14 weeks.
As you work through our weekly sprints with the goals of finding a cofounder as well as validating your problem space and target customer, you will progress toward your pitch day. Once the fellows have validated their problem space and target customer through our validation model, they will then begin building their solution alongside their customers. After accomplishing these key outcomes, they will have the opportunity to pitch to our Investment Advisory Committee for an additional $150k investment. Each team of fellows that receives an investment joins our portfolio.
The founders will then continue to receive 9 months of support. This support includes strategic introductions to investors to secure their seed investments as well as continuing with customer acquisition and product development.
Visible Hands is providing an amazing opportunity! You start by giving a $25k investment for fellows to use and then you help them set everything up. How many founders do you fund / support each cycle? What’s your goal number to fund?
We plan on bringing on about 30 fellows to fund and support each cycle. These fellows will then turn into 12-17 teams/companies.
I noticed there’s an opportunity to travel (pending public health guidelines). Why does Visible Hands feel it’s so important to educate fellows on varying ecosystems? What are some key differences you’ve seen?
We find it important to bring our fellows together in varying innovation economies, because different cities have strong suites that will benefit our fellows in building their companies. We want to ensure our fellows are networking and working alongside organizational partners within our Ecosystem to leverage their insights and communities to push their companies into reality. Our organizational partners range from venture studios to professional development communities which can all add value to the development process of our fellows.
If a founder comes in with an idea that needs refining, what does Visible Hands have to do to make that work for fellows?
We at Visible Hands don’t put too much emphasis on the idea when comparing it to the problem space and insights that the fellows bring. We understand that ideas are constantly changing and pivoting as fellows attempt to validate their theses. For this reason, we want to ensure that our fellows have identified a key problem space within an industry and are well equipped to combat the problem through their background and experiences.
Through the Fellowship, we plan on taking all of the fellows through a validation process to prove that their problem space is truly critical and that their target customer truly feels this pain point. Once validated, the fellows will work alongside customers in their waitlists to build a solution that truly solves their customer’s pain points. Each fellow will be supported by a team of Visible Analysts, an Associate and a General Partner to ensure they are receiving as much support and guidance as possible.
Follow Visible Hands to continue learning more about their program and be the first to sign up! 🙌🏾