Do you want a future where anyone and everyone can launch and grow a business? That’s the future we’re building every day, one business at a time. The TechTown Startup Fund is going to tackle a huge problem head-on for promising Black innovators: accessing cash to get their ideas off the ground.

If you don’t have a network of friends and family who can invest in your dream, you can be delayed or stopped before you really get going. Black tech founders face unique financial barriers rooted in systemic racism and historic injustices like the racial wealth gap. For example, the average white household has 10 times the wealth of the average Black household.

Chip in what you can for the future we all deserve. For a future in which your family’s net worth doesn’t limit what you can achieve.

Tech Founder Stories

Future Event

See the impact of your support in action!

Wednesday December 14: Start Studio Discovery Virtual Showcase

Start Studio Discovery helps aspiring startup founders test their tech-based business ideas in the real world. Watch as founders like those supported by the Startup Fund pitch their innovative solutions to customer problems. Click here to RSVP.

Learn more

Race, class, gender and geography all interact in ways that benefit some founders and hinder others as they pursue startup capital. Explore the issue in the graphics, research and articles below. Need help funding your business? Make an appointment with one of TechTown’s business experts here.

Radical Inclusion in Tech  (link)
By Dr. Marlo Rencher

Tech entrepreneurship is a powerful force for addressing societal problems and opportunities. Generally speaking, underrepresented tech entrepreneurs are inadequately recruited, developed and supported. TechTown Detroit has benchmarked some of the best practices for creating inclusive tech entrepreneurship environments in three distinct locations: Atlanta, Ga.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Miami, Fla. Our findings indicate that the organizations that support these spaces employ intentional strategies to create inclusive environments.

Building racial equity in tech ecosystems to spur local recovery (link)
By Dell Gines and Rodney Sampson

Systemic inequities in America have created a history of wealth inequality, disproportionately exposed certain communities to the COVID-19 pandemic, and established conditions leading to racial violence and social unrest. To address these issues, communities of color—specifically, Black communities—will need broad-based economic support and policy reforms.

A VC’s Guide to Investing in Black Founders (link)

By James Norman

Right now, Black founders receive roughly 1% of VC funding. One of the reasons for this is that venture capital investors, who are largely white, aren’t good at recognizing and developing Black entrepreneurs. Four main areas of misunderstanding are:

1) different solutions for different problems;

2) different surroundings and resources;

3) styles of communication and cultural expectations; and

4) unconscious bias.

As a result of these missteps, investors are missing out on significant opportunities. The author suggests ways to find and support Black founders

TechTown Startup Fund FAQ

What is the TechTown Startup Fund? 

  • The TechTown Startup Fund is a pool of resources that TechTown’s Capital Program can distribute to Black-owned startups to meet specific milestones identified by founders and a TechTown entrepreneur-in-residence. 

How are the funds distributed? 

  • Founders schedule a strategy session (hyperlink) with a Tech team member or entrepreneur-in-residence to discuss their business stage and goals 
  • Applicants will create a milestone plan with an entrepreneur-in-residence 
  • TechTown will work with companies awarded funds to secure a service provider to help them get to their next milestone 
  • Business Accelerator Funds