SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Nex Cubed, a leader in early-stage innovation and startup acceleration, has announced the launch of the HBCU Founders Initiative. Born out of a program Nex Cubed launched last year reaching over 350 students and alumni across 50+ HBCUs, the HBCU Founders Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports HBCU students and alumni along their entrepreneurial journey, encouraging them to pursue solutions that close the racial wealth gap ranging from increasing access to healthcare, education, and financial services.
Entrepreneurship is a key lever in closing the racial wealth gap in the US, yet of the billions of dollars invested in US-based startups annually, only a tiny fraction of the capital is earmarked for startups founded by entrepreneurs of color. As a result, innovative ideas are dying on the vine due to a lack of resources. While the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer has led to an increased demand for a more equitable distribution of venture capital, there also remains a significant need to increase access to the technical resources required to turn an idea into a community-changing business.
To address the challenges, the HBCU Founders Initiative was established to foster entrepreneurship at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), providing students and alumni with the technical and financial resources necessary to launch impactful, digitally-enabled businesses that help close the wealth gap.
The HBCU Founders Initiative will work to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset by supporting founders in the ideation and early product phase. Founders will have access to programing including industry webinars, panel and speaker sessions, ideation workshops, a pre-acceleration program, and pitch sessions. Given the importance and dearth of seed stage capital available to Black founders, Nex Cubed will also be establishing the HBCU Founders Fund where startups participating in the HBCU Founders Initiative will be eligible to receive seed funding.
«We believe the key to combating the wealth gap is by focusing on entrepreneurship,» said Nex Cubed CEO, Marlon Evans. «Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool that not only helps establish and build generational wealth, but also creates career opportunities for those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. If we can support more entrepreneurs that are striving to deliver impactful solutions, then they in turn can create opportunities for others as well – slowly but surely closing the wealth gap.»
The HBCU Founders Initiative is currently accepting applications for the HBCU Founders Pre-Accelerator Program. The 8-week virtual program targets founders past the idea stage of their startup, ready to validate a problem and build an MVP. The Pre-Accelerator will include weekly sessions and will run from September 7th – October 22nd. If you are an HBCU student or alumni interested in participating in the Pre-Accelerator Program this fall, click here to apply.
About Nex Cubed
Nex Cubed is an investor and innovation partner that empowers startups, investors, corporates, academia, and governments to bring new technologies to market, helps rising companies scale, and provides paths to liquidity – the power of three.
Through our global innovation platform that includes Sway Ventures (VC) & Altriarch private equity), we innovate, invest in, accelerate, and scale frontier tech companies. We accomplish this by developing Centers of Excellence (COEs) around key verticals that are ripe for innovation. Each COE consists of best-in-class entrepreneurs, investment partners, industry experts, and government leaders.
Over the last four years, Nex Cubed has established itself as a leader in early-stage innovation and acceleration, creating a global ecosystem of 3 industry-specific COEs, 77 investments, 45 partners, 50 strategic advisors, 60 investor advisors, over 140 mentors, and accelerating 130 companies, including over 50 international startups. To date, the Nex Cubed portfolio companies have an aggregate value of half a billion dollars, and nearly 60% of the startups are led by female and minority founders.
About the HBCU Founders Initiative
Launched by Nex Cubed, The HBCU Founders Initiative is a nonprofit organization that supports HBCU students and alumni along their entrepreneurial journey, encouraging them to pursue solutions that close the racial wealth gap ranging from increasing access to healthcare, education, and financial services.
From the ideation stage to the investment stage and beyond, the HBCU Founders Initiative offers programs, events, resources, and a vast network committed to supporting HBCU founders pursuing entrepreneurship.
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SOURCE Nex Cubed