eMerge Americas, producer of Miami’s premier tech conference and other programs, has formally launched a program aiming to help bridge the funding gap for minority founders. It’s called The Startup Studio and City National Bank of Florida is supporting it with grants to founders. The new program was briefly announced at the two-day La Casa event last week (pictured above) but now we have the details to share.
The funding gap, of course, is very real for minority founders. They receive a single digit percentage of venture capital nationally. For Black founders, the dismal statistic nationally is also the reality locally. “We’re intentionally modeling how community stakeholders can actively contribute to bridging the gender and diversity gap in venture capital in South Florida,” said Melissa Medina, Cofounder and President of eMerge Americas.
Here’s how The Startup Studio will work:
eMerge Americas and City National Bank will select 20 Florida-based early-stage startups with minority founders to participate in the curated five-week program starting the week of January 12. The program will cover effective fundraising strategies, how to grow and scale, and perfecting a business pitch, among other topics. Each week, four different startups will give 3-minute pitches.
The top 5 startups will be chosen to participate in a closing event during the week of February 16th, and three will win a grant: $25,000 for 1st place, $15,000 for second place; and $10,000 for 3rd place. They will also be fast-tracked in to eMerge Americas 2022 Startup Showcase, which culminates in a pitch contest at the eMerge Americas Conference April 18-19, 2022 in Miami Beach, giving them exposure to investors and more potential winnings.
All startups in the cohort will be able to attend and exhibit at the eMerge Americas conference, at no cost.
The Startup Studio will leverage the global platform that eMerge Americas has built over time to provide promising minority-owned companies with grant funding, business guidance, and mentorship opportunities, said City National Bank Chief Strategy Officer John Paul Paradisi said. “Miami and South Florida have made strides toward becoming an international hub for technology and innovation, and we need to help ensure minority-led startups can access capital and unlock business opportunities.”
Where to apply: Submit your application here.
Deadline: January 7, 2022.
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