Techstars & Harlem Capital Fast-Track Women and Minority-led Startups

Oct 21, 2019

New York, N.Y. – October 21, 2019 – Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and Harlem Capital (“HCP”), a New York-based early-stage venture capital firm, today announced the launch of a joint partnership focused on recruiting and investing in diverse founders to build the next generation of world-class businesses. 

In partnership with Harlem Capital, Techstars Includes is an initiative aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion within the Techstars network and across global entrepreneurship communities. The partnership is part of Techstars’ larger commitment to support underrepresented entrepreneurs and create a more inclusive ecosystem, while also offering a diverse investment pipeline for HCP. 

Through Techstars Includes, Harlem Capital now has access to the Techstars D&I Affiliate Program where the organization can refer diverse founders to Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator programs, fast track their application process and increase deal flow between founders and Techstars’ network. Techstars will also refer diverse-led, early-stage companies to Harlem Capital for the capital they need to scale and grow. 

study of 500 U.S. businesses found that companies with diverse teams outperform their less diverse competitors – generating higher sales revenue, more customers, greater market share and greater profits. A similar study by Morgan Stanley showed that more diverse companies delivered better returns and were less volatile. Unfortunately, recent studies also show that over the past five years less than nine percent of overall VC investments went to startups with female founders, and only 23 percent to startups with ethnically diverse founders. 

“Techstars continues to be one of the most diverse accelerators, which has led to 25% of our portfolio being Techstars backed companies,” says Henri Pierre-Jacques, Managing Partner at Harlem Capital. “Techstars and Harlem Capital know that to improve the flow of capital to diverse entrepreneurs, we have to be intentional in our investment efforts and will use our partnership to move beyond talk to action.”

Harlem Capital and Techstars are taking the first of many steps to increase the number of diverse-founded companies that get investment from VCs in the tech space. Techstars intends to connect HCP to more than 500 diverse-led startups in the company’s current and future alumni network over the next 5 years. As a result, Techstars is directly supporting Harlem Capitals’ mission to invest in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years. With Harlem Capitals’ referral, Techstars also looks to further diversify the company’s incoming accelerator classes.  

“Techstars knows this partnership with Harlem Capital can make a generational change,” says Jason Thompson, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at Techstars. “This will change the dynamics of underserved communities forever through economic empowerment of the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs.”

Harlem Capital’s investment criteria reflects their deep commitment to supporting minority and female entrepreneurs. Through the partnership, Techstars and Harlem Capital will be intentional in all future investment efforts and will use the partnership to take real actions that create substantial impact. 

About Harlem Capital Partners

Harlem Capital (“HCP”) is a New York-based minority-owned early-stage venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years.  HCP is committed to reserving capital for investments in minority and women founders in the United States. 

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,500 companies with a market cap of $15 Billion.

Media Contacts:

Techstars Andrea Perdomo

Harlem Capital Partners Henri Pierre-Jacques or Jarrid Tingle or