Amid ongoing national calls for racial equity, a handful of investment groups and startup organizations are teaming up to pour capital into Black entrepreneurs.
D.C.-based investing firm Revolution, Opportunity Hub (OHUB) and 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund are partnering with Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab to host an “equity edition” of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest tour. The two-day event will take place virtually on Dec. 1 to 3 and include panels with national leaders on how to best support Black founders. The event will conclude with a $2 million virtual pitch competition for Black founders with startups based in the U.S. and outside of Silicon Valley, New York and Boston.
BREAKING: How Former AOL CEO @SteveCase Aims To Address The Funding Gap To Black Founders https://t.co/Gu5RUb6dHC Release: https://t.co/6eLbAkNlrQ Apply: https://t.co/YzM5qfXmG8 @RiseOfRest @theohubs @MorganStanley @100blackangels @Revolution #RiseOfRest pic.twitter.com/A61X8K2BlT
— Steve Case (@SteveCase) September 24, 2020
Launched in 2014, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Bus Tour is (normally) a five-day road trip designed to shine a light on startup and tech communities outside of major hubs such as San Francisco and New York. To date, the program has raised $300 million and has made 150 investments into startups across 70 cities. Revolution had a bus tour slated for April this year, but it was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Revolution has long advocated for more funding for startups based outside of the coastal tech hubs, but we must do more to specifically level the playing field for Black founders, who currently receive less than 1% of venture funding,” Revolution Chairman and CEO Steve Case said in a statement. “This tour is just one part of what must be a broader effort to scale and sustain inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem building in overlooked cities across America.”
Revolution’s Rise of the Rest program is supported by more than 15 investment firms including Motley Fool Ventures, Kapor Capital and MaC Venture Capital.
Three Black-owned startups will receive shares of the $2 million investment with Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab each investing $500,000 in the winner and $250,000 in the two runners-up. Winners will also receive additional co-investments from 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund. The top companies selected for these investments will join Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund portfolio and tap into these in-kind prizes:
- Access to the Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab’s five-month tech accelerator program
- OHUB and 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund will offer the first 100 pitch applicants access to its founder prep master class and four-week pre-accelerator.
- The top 10 pitch applicants will receive meetings from a pull of more than 15 investors including Motley Fool Ventures, Kapor Capital and MaC Venture Capital.
Revolution first partnered with OHUB, which manages a technology, startup and venture ecosystem building platform, in 2015 when the company brought the Rise of the Rest bus tour to Atlanta. And the 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund was a natural fit for this partnership since OHUB created the investment program and venture capital fund to help train and develop Black angel investors, per Revolution.
“With OHUB, 100 Black Angels & Allies, and Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, we have an opportunity to champion Black founders who have the added challenge of being based outside the coastal tech hubs, for an audience of potential investors and startup champions,” said David Hall, managing partner of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
Black founders can apply until Sunday, Oct. 25 at 11:59 p.m. EST.-30-