Techstars Foundation Accelerates Equity

In 2015, I helped get the Techstars Foundation going. The Techstars Foundation focuses on gifts of both cash and network support for organizations that improve access to entrepreneurship for underrepresented entrepreneurs. So far, we’ve given around $1.1M in grants, and we hope that the active help from the Techstars network has been an even more powerful gift.

Based on feedback from the dozens of organizations we’ve supported to date, we’ve recently launched Accelerate Equity which is a new way to call on the power of the Techstars network to fuel a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The way this works is that anyone who wants to make a significant lead grant to a non-profit that is focused on access to entrepreneurship can get three benefits by making their grant via Techstars foundation:

  • First, we promote their lead donation to our network and ask our mentors, alumni, partners, and community leaders to add to the lead donation.
  • Once all of the matching donations have come in from the network, we add an additional 5% to the total commitment.
  • Finally, if the total raised is greater than $50,000, Techstars accelerates that non-profit in a similar way that it has accelerated 2,000+ for profit organizations which have created tens of billions of dollars of enterperise value to date.

Here’s a specific example:

  • Anchor Point Foundation (Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor) has provided a lead donation for Grid110 of $50,000. Grid110 is an economic and community development non-profit dedicated to creating clearer pathways to success for early-stage entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.
  • Via this blog post and other promotion, we’re asking you to consider matching this gift, in any amount.
  • Imagine that the initial $50,000 lead donation generates another $25,000 in matches from the network. That’s $75,000 in total. The Techstars Foundation then adds 5%, or another $3,750. Ultimately, Grid110 would receive $78,750 instead of just the original $50,000 lead gift. And, because the amount is more than $50,000, Techstars will work with the non-profit for a year to help accelerate them!

In short, if you’re considering donating to a non-profit that impacts diversity and inclusion in tech in positive ways, you’d be better off pledging it via the Techstars Foundation than giving it directly. Your lead gift can be amplified for further fundraising in the Techstars network, and automatically qualifies for additional matching. This is the definition of a no-brainer!

So here’s a call to action – Give to one of the four organizations below to amplify the gift of the lead donor, or simply donate to these and other future non-profits by making a gift to our matching fund.

The first four non-profits currently being amplified through Accelerate Equity are:

  • HBCUvc – HBCUvc actively reimagines the innovation economy by developing the next generation of venture capital leaders in communities where entrepreneurs face barriers accessing capital. Their work begins at one of the most overlooked avenues for Black innovation (HBCUs) and extends to cities where stark inequalities and implicit biases continue to widen the racial wealth gap. This one is currently over the $50,000 mark! Can you help?
  • Grid110 – Their mission is to foster the most thriving, inviting & inclusive community for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Grid110 believes that anyone with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur should have the chance to pursue it and receive support along the way. Their work impacts individuals who are often overlooked by traditional startup ecosystems — that’s what drives Grid110 to make the entrepreneurial path more equitable, inclusive and accessible. This one is currently over the $50,000 mark! Let’s do this LA!
  • Knox St. Studios – Knox St. Studios connects and equips current or aspiring entrepreneurs across the Triangle area of North Carolina and beyond with the skills needed to create businesses, jobs, intellectual property, and community wealth for generations to come. This one is at $40,000+, help us get it over the $50,000 mark! Share it in the RTP/North Carolina area!
  • – Sistahbiz is working to build a tech solution to expand their reach to Black women entrepreneurs globally and close the gap for Black women in business worldwide. The portal will provide a one-stop-shop space online for Black women entrepreneurs to access back office services, coaching, training, and a variety of opportunities to collaborate and network. Currently over $50,000 raised so far, can you help?

Consider a gift to one or more of the above campaigns, or donate to our general matching fund and support all of them and future organizations as well! All donations are tax deductible where allowed by law.

And, if you know of any amazing non-profit and you want to make a lead donation and benefit from the Accelerate Equity program, you can learn more here.

Finally, share this post with anyone who may be interested in having an impact!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Potential to change the world through entrepreneurship is everywhere, but opportunity is not (yet). We can do this!

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