Nex Cubed, a leader in early-stage innovation and startup acceleration, has launched its HBCU Founder’s Program to provide students and recent alumni at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with access to the financial and advisory resources necessary to develop technology-enabled businesses.
The aim is to support these students in the areas of Financial Services (FinTech), Education (EdTech), Digital Health, and Real Estate (PropTech) – key social determinants in desperate need of systemic reform that technology can help enable.
Beginning this fall through spring 2021, approximately 350 HBCU students and recent alumni from 60+ and counting HBCUs will be exposed to the innovation landscape across FinTech, EdTech, Digital Health, and PropTech. This will take place via webinars and virtual ideation sessions led by corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and top-tier investors. Following the online sessions, attendees will be assigned an experienced advisor who will help refine their business plan and investor presentation. At the end of this learning journey, the students/alumni with the most promising business concepts will be invited to participate in the Nex Cubed HBCU Founder’s Summer Acceleration Program in Silicon Valley.
Each participant in the Summer Acceleration Program will receive $10,000 to cover the cost of participating in the program as well as technical resources to develop an MVP.
Nex Cubed’s HBCU Founder’s Program is part of the company’s broader innovation platform that innovates, invests in, accelerates, and scales frontier tech companies. To accomplish this, Nex Cubed develops Centers of Excellence (COE) around key industry verticals that are ripe for innovation. Each COE consists of best in class entrepreneurs, investment partners, industry experts, academia, and government leaders.
“Since inception, diversity and inclusion have been woven into the cultural fabric of Nex Cubed,” said Nex Cubed CEO, Marlon Evans. “While over 50% of our portfolio of 75 companies are led by female and minority founders, in order for us to have the impact that we’re looking to make, we knew that we could do more and we realized that we needed to start earlier in the process by working with students and recent alumni who might otherwise not have access to Silicon Valley and to funding.”
Sharing Nex Cubed’s commitment to inspire entrepreneurship and cultivate startup growth at HBCUs is the program’s lead corporate supporter, AT&T. In a recent announcement, the company unveiled its $10 million multi-initiative plan to create economic opportunities for underserved communities, including diversifying technology and entrepreneurship through HBCUs in collaboration with Nex Cubed.
“As an industry leader, it’s paramount we harness our resources to create more pathways to success for Black and underserved communities, building on our time-honored practice of creating economic opportunity on a local level across the country,” said Mylayna Albright, Assistant Vice President – Citizenship & Sustainability, AT&T. More on AT&T’s commitment can be found here.
In addition to AT&T, other corporations who have raised their hand to support the program include Morgan Stanley and Cooley, along with several community partners including ACT House, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Black Venture Capital Consortium or BVCC, Divercity, Envision, HBCU Awards, HBCU Nation, Money Making Conversations With Rushion McDonald, NAF, Next Gen HQ, and TiE Atlanta.
“There is a ton of talent at HBCUs that when plugged into the resources needed to be successful, the sky is the limit,” said Evans. “We encourage the companies looking for a programmatic way to identify diverse talent, support entrepreneurship, and activate its employee base via mentoring and speaking opportunities to raise your hand. Together we can find a better way and accomplish even more.”
The HBCU Founder’s Program Kickoff event took place virtually on October 29, 2020. The dates for the industry webinars are as follows: FinTech – November 12, 2020, EdTech – November 19, 2020, Digital Health – December 3, 2020, and PropTech – December 10, 2020.
Learn more about Nex Cubed’s HBCU Founder’s Program here.