Announcing a sponsorship of Black & Brown Founders
M12 and Microsoft for Startups are proud to sign on as the Diamond Corporate Sponsor of Black & Brown Founders, a nonprofit organization providing Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with best practices and a community through which to build and successfully launch their tech companies.
This marks the third year that Microsoft has signed on to support this organization. As a result of this sponsorship, Black & Brown Founders can now offer their Bootstrapping Bootcamps, priced on a sliding scale and supplemented with scholarships to founders. The sponsorship will also help fund the launch of a new conference and community, CHROMA.
Initially piloted in 2019, Bootstrapping Bootcamp is a virtual ten-week training program that serves pre-revenue entrepreneurs with tutorials, templates, and tools to help them build out their tech businesses. The newest iteration of the program, enrollment for which launches June 22, already has a waitlist of over 150 people ready to join the next cohort.
CHROMA (Sept. 28 — Oct. 2, 2020) is a new, multi-day, virtual conference and online community hub that converts into a library of content to help founders level up their tech businesses and discover funding opportunities. CHROMA will feature Black and Latinx tech entrepreneurs, leaders, and subject matter experts from around the globe.
This marks the third year that Microsoft has signed on to support this organization.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion within the funded startup ecosystem, the situation is dire.
The historic nature of this moment demonstrates the importance of widespread community support to overcome institutional harm. Nationwide, millions of people are taking to the streets to exercise their frustration with systemic injustice and the mistreatment of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. In this country — and in many others — an individual’s skin color can determine their personal safety in public spaces, the salary they can command, and the professional opportunities they can access.
At Microsoft, we have a shared, company-wide core priority around diversity & inclusion. Yet still, in this moment, we are being reminded that the privileges afforded to us are coupled with an even greater responsibility. Every one of us is challenged to help create a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone can bring their full and authentic self, where all voices are heard, and where we do our best work as a result.
In addition to pursuing a more inclusive work environment internally, we consider the broader business landscape in which we operate. Unfortunately, when it comes to diversity and inclusion within the funded startup ecosystem, the situation is dire. According to Marketplace, founders of color have a harder time getting initial funding, and get less of it: “While the average seed funding for all startups is $1.1 million, the average black female founder, according to digitalundivided, raises $42,000 in total.” The innovation economy requires diverse perspectives; discounting ideas based on a founder’s race guarantees a slower pace of innovation.
In this country - and in many others - an individual’s skin color can determine their personal safety in public spaces, the salary they can command, and the professional opportunities they can access.