Diversity & Inclusion
Accelerators / Entrepreneurs / Startups

Resource Roundup: DC technologists and entrepreneurs can get a leg up with these programs this fall

Check out these funding and resource opportunities coming to the DMV from Comcast, Per Scholas and Elkridge, Maryland's NewWave Foundation.

Sherifah Munis is founder and executive director at NewWave Foundation. (Courtesy photo)

This is Resource Roundup, a look at open applications for business and career-building programs, funding and other opportunities around the region. Want to share a new resource for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at dc@technical.ly.

Beginning in October, Comcast has $1 million up for grabs for BIPOC-owned businesses in the District.

The media conglomerate named DC as one of six cities eligible for its 2021 Comcast RISE cohort, which offers $10,000 to 100 local startups and small businesses. An additional 93 businesses can receive marketing and technology services, as well. Through a partnership with Ureeka, an online entrepreneurship platform from 1863 Ventures founder Melissa Bradley, the selected applicants will also receive mentoring and long-term business resources.

“We are humbled to be a part of this program,” Bradley said in a statement. “We know there are stark racial disparities in access to capital and resources for entrepreneurs of color — in fact, studies show that business owners of color are twice as likely as all business owners to report ‘lack of access to business loans/credit’ as a reason for closure. This program helps bridge the gap between survival and failure in the midst of a pandemic which continues to further exaggerate systemic injustices.

Comcast started its RISE program in 2020 to help with pandemic recovery. Founders in Houston, Miami, Oakland, Seattle and the Twin Cities are also eligible to apply.

Apply here October 1-14


Education nonprofit NewWave Foundation, which works with local partners like Columbia, Maryland’s Howard Community College and College Bound DC, is launching a pitch showcase for diverse founders this fall.

Following an application round, eight to 10 entrepreneurs will receive pitch and business coaching before getting the chance to pitch their business before a judging panel and win $10,000.

The competition is open to current students or recent alumni who have received less than $500,000 in funding and have a BIPOC member of the founding team.

Although the Elkridge, Maryland-based foundation focuses on education, the nonprofit confirmed to Technical.ly that the competition is open to all sectors, so long as it is a tech or technology-enabled business.

“It is my hope that the upcoming business pitch event, can in our small way encourage diversity in entrepreneurship by providing funding opportunities and other business training tools to help alleviate racial disparities, bridge the wealth gap and consequently increase economic empowerment,” said Sherifah Munis, founder and executive director of NewWave, in a statement.

Apply by October 10


Tech education organization Per Scholas is moving into the DMV with a new federal grant. Earlier this month, US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announced that the nonprofit was one of five recipients of the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant — offering $350,000 to increase women’s employment.

With the funding, Per Scholas told Technical.ly, it will be creating a remote course specifically for DMV women. A timeline has yet to be announced, but the course will have 90 spots open for women in DC, Maryland and Virginia for a 15-week, front-end development program.

According to Per Scholas, the course will offer flexible hours, which will be compatible to fit in alongside childcare and irregular work schedules. Following course completion, participants can enter into a year-long apprenticeship via DiverseIT, which offers work connections in the tech field.


Maryland innovation center Bethesda Green is now accepting applications for its Spring 2022 accelerator cohort.

The four-month program, which will take place January 10 through May 14, is open to founders with areas of focus in the environment and sustainable food cycles. Selected applicants will receive business coaching, mentorship and access to office space, plus the potential to gain $10,000 in funding from Bethesda Green or pitch investors.

The program is open to anyone, but founders in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area are encouraged to apply, particularly those based in or looking to move to Montgomery County. Companies must be post-idea stage, with 6-8 months of runway and at least one full-time employee.

Apply here by October 6
Companies: 1863 Ventures / Per Scholas / Comcast

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