Tech has a diversity problem. Luckily, these six Bay Area accelerators and incubators were created to help bolster minority representation in local workplaces.
Founded in 2011 by Angela Benton, NewMe Accelerator focuses on helping underrepresented entrepreneurs build, develop, and launch a start up. NewMe offers an intensive 12-week residential program for minorities and women. In just four years, they've helped entrepreneurs grow sustainable local businesses and raised nearly $17 million from investors.
Y Combinator, one of the most well-known seed accelerators, just hired full-time partner Michael Seibel, a stellar entrepreneur who helped launch a minority accelerator program within the company. "In the winter class, [we had] 3.7% were Hispanic, 4% Black, and 11% female entrepreneurs. My goal is to grow the number of Blacks and Hispanics,” says Seibel. The program involves coaching and mentoring students so that they are ready to pitch to investors.
Manos Accelerator is a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for Latino entrepreneurs. (It's noted for being the first accelerator to target Latinos.) They accept six to eight early-stage startup teams to participate at a 3-month "boot-camp" program.
Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator, wants to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. “82% of Tumml startups have a woman or person of color in the founding team and a third of our applicant pool is international,” says Julie Lein, president and co-founder. By way of a four-month program, Tumml invites early-stage companies from around the country to join their office space in San Francisco to work hard in order to land $20K in seed funding.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center helps women, people of color, Latinos, and low-income earners to build their own business. Their incubator program provides consultation on social media, finance, marketing, office space, financial support, and more. They already have an office in SoMa and, come February, will have a second location in East Palo Alto.
Blackfounders is an organization focused on Black entrepreneurs. They organize conferences, educational programs, and events in San Francisco and other cities such as New York, Atlanta, and Chicago with access to advice, mentorship, and funding. They have two separate organizations: Black Founders Startup Community, a charitable organization that produces educational programs and conferences, and Black Founders Startup Ventures, a separate for-profit venture with a focus on startup financing.