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Fearless partners with Downtown arena developer to launch impact fund for businesses owners of color

The new partnership between the SaaS company and Oak View Group brings community impact and innovation to the development firm’s plans for CFG Bank Arena, where Fearless will have access to a 900-person space with its name.

A rendering of the CFG Bank Arena (ex-Royal Farms Arena). (Courtesy image)
Full disclosure: This article concerns Fearless, a Talent Builder client. That relationship did not impact this report.

Full-stack digital services aren’t the only work that Fearless performs “with soul.” Its social impact-minded scope now extends to a collaboration with international entertainment venue developer Oak View Group (OVG) on an impact fund to tackle workforce representation issues — and a space within Oak View’s forthcoming CFG Bank Arena with Fearless’ name.

According to a Tuesday morning announcement, Fearless will launch the Fearless Impact Fund, a community fund aimed at serving “BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] businesses” and “BIPOC workforce initiatives” throughout the Baltimore area. The Fearless Impact Fund will start with principal foci on technical assistance, entrepreneurial coaching, scholarships for training programs and workforce development initiatives.

The emailed announcement added that OVG, in alignment with the regional Baltimore Together inclusive economic development strategy, pledged a one-time $50,000 investment to seed the fund. OVG — which has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Philadelphia and London — will collaborate with Fearless to develop a sustainable source of revenue that can sustain the initiative while increasing its impact.

Fearless’ Communications Director LeAnne Matlach told via email that the company will explore “a matching program, special arena promotions” and other community engagement to boost the fund’s coffers. Matlach added that the fund, which has no ceiling, will especially support existing networks and collaborations.

“We see the potential in engaging with programs that are currently running and building new partnerships to increase equitable access for under-resourced founders and talent,” Matlach said. “We want to continue to support and expand upon our engagements with women and minority entrepreneurs through initiatives like our Hutch startup studio or BOOST program with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.”

Fearless CEO Delali Dzirasa said that this collaboration would support a bigger goal of making CFG Bank Arena a focal point for professionals and business owners of color.

“We are partnering with Oak View Group to make CFG Bank Arena not only a place to connect world-renowned artists and performers to our city but also build a hub for Baltimore to connect underrepresented BIPOC business owners to the community, connect underrepresented BIPOC talent to employers and connect individuals across lines of difference,” Dzirasa said in the press release.

Man in black shirt with purple logo in front of red brick wall

Fearless CEO Delali Dzirasa. (Courtesy photo)

To that end, as part of the partnership, CFG Bank Arena’s East Club will now be known as “The Fearless Club.” The announcement described this section as “the largest in-venue club space with a 900-person capacity.”  Fearless plans to use this space for both its intended hospitality-focused functions and as a place to support collaboration and networking on days without scheduled arena events.

Matlach noted that the space would act as an extension of Fearless’ workspace. The use of the space, like the overall partnership, draws from research the company conducted among its employees and focus groups since 2020 to better understand its post-pandemic direction.

“One theme that has emerged is that our purpose for gathering in a physical space has changed,” Matlach said. “Rather than gathering mostly to work, our reason for gathering is shifting to connect, to collaborate and to bring together people who can help us create the impact we are working towards. In light of that, we were interested in this opportunity to diversify our physical spaces, and invest in some non-traditional workspace at the CFG Bank Arena that we can use for those connection and collaboration purposes.”

Fearless boasts a track record of using its tools to empower communities and create a world where good software powers the things that matter. It now attaches this track record to an arena whose development anchors broader neighborhood revitalization efforts in Downtown Baltimore.

Companies: Fearless

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