Impact Ventures, a Dallas nonprofit dedicated to creating diverse and inclusive tech ecosystems, is launching what it calls “North Texas’ first minority-focused startup accelerator program.”
Formerly known as Impact House, Impact Ventures was founded in 2017 to close the income and wealth gap for minorities and women via tech career pathways, inclusive entrepreneurship, and capital investment. Its new 12-week accelerator, coming March 2020, aims to assist underrepresented communities looking to break into the tech industry.
“As of 2018, just 2 percent of minorities received venture capital funding, 2 percent of minorities are represented in the tech industry workforce, and there’s projected to be over 1 million open tech jobs by 2020,” Impact Ventures Founder and CEO Benjamin Vann says. “Due to the sheer size of North Texas, we believe we play an integral role in closing these opportunity gaps.”
Impact Ventures seeks to make North Texas a tech hotbed
Seeing technology growing in places like Detroit and Atlanta, Impact Ventures believes Dallas has all of the necessary ingredients to be the next tech hotbed for minority professionals and entrepreneurs. Vann cited the city’s robust corporate community, skilled labor force, affordable cost of living, and business-friendly tax benefits.
The new accelerator program will take a unique approach to training and development by combining the traditional one-on-one mentorship models with the power and influence of corporate human capital. The program will feature a guided online curriculum supplemented by national and local guest speakers, workshop facilitators, mentors, and venture fellows from local universities.
Corporations will participate in “rapid-problem-solving hacks” that allow for the development of new or refined current service offerings in an open, interactive, and cultured environment. Startups will be offered a suite of business perks through global partnerships such as Microsoft for Startups, HubSpot for Startups, and Village Capital.
The accelerator also plans to provide discounted services with North Texas partners in marketing and branding, artificial intelligence, insurance, and coworking, along with access to Impact Ventures’ corporate and inclusive capital network.
Impact Ventures moved last year from Exposition Park to coworking space GoodWork, because Vann says he and GoodWork co-founder Amy King united over a similar focus on social impact during an Innovation Task Force meeting at the Dallas Regional Chamber.
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