Techstars is committed to being an action-driven leader in creating an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. One important way we do this is through the Techstars Foundation.
The Techstars Foundation’s mission is to develop and support underrepresented entrepreneurs by providing nonprofit organizations with grants and access to the Techstars Network. We foster an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem that embraces aspiring underrepresented entrepreneurs around the world of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, ages, physical abilities, and neurodiversity.
Applications for our grants opened in March 2019, and we received 95 qualified applications from extraordinary organizations with powerful missions and goals. The organizations we selected to receive grants are both aligned with our mission and profoundly innovative. They are driven by the needs of the communities they serve and have a measurable positive impact on those communities. We see the potential for their education programs to create meaningful change in the lives of the individuals who participate.
Techstars Foundation 2019 Grant Recipients
The Techstars Foundation has committed $170,000 in grants to support the following organizations and the educational programs they have created:
Founded in 2017, Re:Coded seeks to unlock opportunities for youth in the Middle East and North Africa by preparing them for successful careers in the region’s rapidly growing technology sector as software developers, entrepreneurs, and tech leaders. They recruit, train, and employ conflict-affected and vulnerable youth to work as software developers through an intensive five-month coding boot camp and entrepreneurship training program. Re:Coded also runs a digital agency, Re:Coded Labs, staffed by graduates from its programs. Techstars Foundation will be supporting a Re-coded accelerator program for aspiring refugee entrepreneurs in Turkey, giving them the mindset, skills, network of investors and mentors to launch their own scalable tech startups.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve worked with dozens of refugees in Turkey who have tech business ideas but struggle to get their dream off the ground. Now, Re:Coded is delighted to work with Techstars to bring refugee-led startups to life.” – Marcello Bonatto (Co-founder of Re-Coded)
Digital Citizen Fund
The Digital Citizen Fund helps girls and women in developing countries gain access to technology and obtain the necessary skills to succeed in today’s expanding global market. They train women to become successful entrepreneurs in the digital world. With the grant from the Techstars Foundation, Digital Citizen Fund will train 300 women and girls in Afghanistan in business and high-tech (robotics, coding, etc.) to prepare them for the future.
“We cannot thank the Techstars Foundation enough for your grant. We really appreciate your support. The generous donation will empower Afghan women to be financial contributors in their families and continue to be influential forces to their communities ” – Roya Mahboob (CEO and President of Digital Citizen Fund)
HBCUvc’s mission is to foster the development of inclusive innovation economies. They accomplish this by increasing the number of Black and Latinx venture capital leaders in communities where entrepreneurs face barriers in accessing investment capital. By increasing the number of Black and Latinx decision-makers in venture capital, HBCUvc can fund more entrepreneurs of color, ultimately creating jobs and wealth opportunities for communities of color.
“We’re excited to be selected for this grant. Venture capital is very much a relationship-driven business. The intention of this course is two-fold. In addition to supporting and expanding upon entrepreneurship education at HBCUs, we get to build and expand new social networks inclusive of HBCUs by bringing investors directly to campus.” – Hadiyah Mujhid (Co-founder of HBCUvc)
Centro Community Partners
Centro Community Partners fosters socioeconomic change by providing business advisory services and leadership programs to rising yet underserved entrepreneurs who want to launch or grow their businesses and create jobs in their communities. Their mission is to build thriving communities by providing low-income, minority, and women entrepreneurs with training, one-on-one business advising, mentorship, and access to capital. Centro received funding from Techstars to support its entrepreneurship training and financial literacy programs, as well as to support the development of its mobile app platform, to empower entrepreneurs.
“Centro is honored to have been awarded and recognized by the Techstars Foundation! We are excited to partner with Techstars and be a part of an innovative group of changemakers with an extensive network, to help us scale and reach aspiring entrepreneurs globally. We are inspired and look forward to our journey with Techstars to create scalable solutions that promote inclusive microenterprise development ecosystems.” – Arturo A. Noriega (Founder and CEO)
Capital, Community, & Mentorship
Each of these organizations is providing underrepresented groups with access to capital, community, mentorship, or a combination of these essential elements for successful entrepreneurship. A great deal of research has found that these components increase the likelihood of success of entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups, according to a Kauffman Foundation Compilation: Research on Race and Entrepreneurship.
By supporting these groups, as well as our 15 past grantees, we are continuing to stimulate innovation and positive social and economic change worldwide.
The Techstars Foundation helps to amplify and support the great work of the nonprofit organizations we support. In 2019, we have made a commitment to give grants to these organizations, give our time as an organization and provide access to the Techstars Network.
Want to help us develop and support underrepresented entrepreneurs? Donate to the Techstars Foundation now!
The Techstars Foundation is a donor-advised fund managed by the Community Foundation Boulder County.