Accelerators / Entrepreneurs / POC in Tech

First Founders is representing the region in nationwide Resource program

The project's goal is to build a community of leaders of color heading up entrepreneur support organizations.

Garry Johnson. (Courtesy photo)

First Founders, the Delaware-based startup accelerator for underrepresented entrepreneurs, is one of 18 “ecosystem leaders” nationwide in the first cohort of Resource.

Backed by Black Innovation Alliance (BIA) and Village Capital, the project connects the heads of entrepreneur support organizations, or ESOs, serving Black, Latinx and Indigenous founders.

Leaders of color in Resource’s ESO Accelerator will learn how to build financially sustainable organizations and curate connections to potential funders. The goal is to build a national community of leaders and funders of color.

“A lot of support has been directed towards entrepreneurs of color in light of the recent racial uprising, but it’s important to ask how Black and brown entrepreneurs are supported and developed,” said BIA Executive Director Kelly Burton in a statement. “This work is being carried out by small and mid-sized minority-led organizations, most of which are neither well-resourced, nor well-supported. If we want entrepreneurs of color to win, we need better strategies for supporting minority-led entrepreneur support organizations. Resource is a step in the right direction.”

“If nothing changes, the median wealth of Black Americans will fall to zero by 2053,” said Village Capital CEO Allie Burns. “Historically, entrepreneurship has been one of the most consistent drivers of wealth for people of color. And incubators and accelerators are a key driver of successful Black-owned businesses — one in three Black founders who raise $1 million graduate from a Black accelerator. We want to make sure that those accelerators and other ESOs have the financial, social and human capital to keep their doors open and grow.”

Founded by University of Delaware graduate Garry Johnson III in 2019, First Founders most recently held a national podcast-based pitch competition on its Innovation Included podcast. It was one of Johnson’s virtual ideas allowing COVID-friendly programming, along with another virtual program called the Inclusive Startup Accelerator. Pre-pandemic, First Founders had launched its first fintech-focused accelerator in January 2020.

Other organizations in the current Resource cohort include WEPOWER from St. Louis, DivInc from Austin and Harlem-based Beautiful Ventures.

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
Contribute to the journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join the conversation!

Find news, events, jobs and people who share your interests on's open community Slack


5 local orgs with services and resources for startups and entrepreneurs

Delaware Money Moves: Millions in federal clean energy funding for greentech startup Versogen

How 3 local orgs help founders and entrepreneurs build their networks

The end of software as technology

Technically Media