Sixty percent of Black engineers in the U.S. come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). A new initiative is making sure those engineers have a better platform to become tech founders.
Techstars is teaming up with HBCUvc, a nonprofit fellowship program providing VC mentorship to minority students, to launch a 10-city Startup Weekend tour across the U.S., specifically stopping at HBCUs and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
The pair launched this initiative to increase minority representation in the U.S.’s startup ecosystem, as Black and Hispanic founders are not supported as often when it comes to venture capital investments.
“We’re excited to partner with Techstars, a global accelerator, to bring Startup Weekends to HBCUs,” Hadiyah Mujhid, founder and CEO of HBCUvc, said in a statement. “Our partner HBCUs and their students benefit greatly as Techstars Startup Weekend events bring tech entrepreneurs, corporate partners, and investors to the campuses of HBCUs, helping to accelerate our next generation of technology entrepreneurs on our campuses.”
The tour will hit five universities to start, with more to come in 2020. D.C.-based Howard University will be a part of the tour, along with events at Fisk University, North Carolina Central University, Prairie View A&M and Morehouse College.
The Startup Weekend events will span three days and allow student attendees the opportunity to connect with likeminded entrepreneurs, technologists and developers to build a startup in just 54 hours. Techstars’ reports that its Startup Weekend events have helped bring together more than 193,000 entrepreneurs in 150 countries across 23,000 teams who worked to build startups. Investors will also be present on tour to make investments as they see fit.
The Howard University Startup Weekend will be led by a fellow of the program Shondace Thomas and an MBA student of the Howard Business School, Corey Lipsey, along with faculty member Legand Burge. The official dates for the weekend haven’t been released yet.-30-