DIVERSITY: New National Fellowship Serving Under-Represented Founders Launches. Visible Hands Has Ambitious Goals to Help Women and BIPOC Founders…

This article was written by inter-TECH-ion intern Noah Chavarria…

A new national fellowship is launching soon that focuses exclusively on under-represented founders, including Black, indigenous and people of color (known as BIPOC), and women.

Visible Hands is a pre-seed fellowship program, with a fund. It’s seeking founders for its first cohort.

Distinctly aware of the VC gap in funding under-represented entrepreneurs, the Visible Hands founders created the fellowship program to fill this niche.

While the team’s physical HQ is in Boston, the members are working remotely across the country. The program will start and remain virtual indefinitely.

Visible Hands is raising a fund with a target of $10 million.

It will be investing this capital at the stage when founders typically need it the most – at the beginning, pre-seed stage.

In fact, Visible Hands even has a co-founder matching service, for founders with the same innovative ideas, who have yet to start building a company.

The funding will help these founders and co-founders build a team and then build a company.

Resources Fellowship Will Provide

Visible Hands intends to provide the entrepreneur it selects with investments up to $200,000. It would also provide access to a national network of investors and advisors. And help with a go-to-market strategy.

It’s designed to be a 14-week, full-time fellowship program, starting in the Fall.

Raising Money For the Fund

The general partners have already begun fundraising by leveraging their immediate networks. From friends and family to their networks in finance, they were able to build a strong pipeline of potential investors.

From there, the team continued expanding. It’s already raised half of the $10 million target, and is actively seeking investors for the rest.

It’s open to any investor that supports its mission of diversifying tech.

Foundation

The original founders are Justin Kang, Daniel Acheampong and Yasmin Cruz Ferrine.

Associate Javier Correa

Javier Correa began interning with them last year, and quickly became a full-time employee.

An inspiration for starting Visible Hands was Entrepreneur First, launched by two former McKinsey consultants in London in 2011.

In 2019, it raised $155 million with the goal of creating 300-plus startups over the next few years. It’s succeeded in that mandate, having helped more than 2,000 people create over 300 companies, with a total valuation of $2 billion. 

Application Process

The application for Visible Hands is underway. But at this point in time, you can only nominate someone, including yourself. The application itself will be available soon.

By May, Visible Hands hopes to have more than 1,000 applicants. By June, that number will be whittled down to approximately 150 finalists.

The winners (approximately 30 of them) will be announced in July. 

Nominate someone here.

 

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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