This blog was co-authored by Market Development Lead Elisa Garcia Anzano.
In 2020, our initial partnership project with Davis Wright Tremaine’s Project W came to life: SaaS Launch Lab—a series of virtual workshops for pre-seed, women-led companies developing enterprise SaaS solutions. Just weeks after the wrap of SaaS Launch Lab, the Project W team approached us with another opportunity. Reflecting on their years of important work to help women build great companies, advance their careers, and achieve parity in the workplace, Project W identified the need for programming specifically designed to support Black and Latinx female founders. Tech Equity Hub was born.
Tech Equity Hub is a virtual accelerator to provide a cohort of ten Black and Latinx female founders with the tools, resources, and connections to build successful companies. During the 12-week program, cohort members will have access to workshops, 1-on-1 mentorship and coaching sessions, technical deep dives, and community-building events. Expert faculty and advisors will cover product design, sales and marketing, finance and fundraising, and more.
Elisa and I are proud to serve on the Tech Equity Hub Advisory Council. In addition to the incredible track record of partnership with Project W, our motivations for serving are twofold:
- Understand the unique challenges that Black and Latinx female founders face – Tech Equity Hub has created a community that centers Black and Latinx women—where they can share their lived experiences, and the hurdles that they face as entrepreneurs. The program enables leaders to provide just-in-time support, and to accelerate structural and systemic progress with a heightened awareness to the issues.
- Build new and inclusive dealflow pipelines – The evidence is clear; women-owned startups are a better bet, but data from ProjectDiane shows that Black and Latinx female founders earn just .64% of venture capital dollars. Tech Equity Hub provides our team with the opportunity to build relationships with a cohort of Black and Latinx female founders early in their company lifecycle.
Alongside Advisory Council members from Project W, Reinventure Capital, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Black Women Talk Tech, TripAdvisor, US Bank, Rising America Fund, Level Up Ventures, Stripe, and Unreasonable Group, Elisa and I helped to shape Tech Equity Hub curriculum, recruit applicants, and identify the next wave of game-changing founders. We’ve also been able to offer each cohort member $120K in Azure credits, GitHub Enterprise, go-to-market resources, unlimited 24×7 technical support, and more.
Today, I’m honored to play a part in announcing the members of the first Tech Equity Hub cohort: founders who are building technology solutions to solve big problems affecting people and our planet.
Now that the cohort has been selected, our role as Advisory Council members is to help identify important contacts when founders flag the need—from legal advisors to positioning and messaging experts, and of course: potential customers. We’re excited to connect these remarkable entrepreneurs to teammates at M12, colleagues at Microsoft, and our broader network to help accelerate the growth of their companies.
The 12-week program will launch on July 12 with a Demo Day in early October. Congratulations to this group of entrepreneurs and thank you to the Project W team for inviting us to the Tech Equity Hub team!