Black Stanford alumni create $5M investment fund and technology innovation foundation to provide financial assistance and resources for Black techpreneurs

Black Stanford alumni create $5M investment fund and technology innovation foundation to provide financial assistance and resources for Black techpreneurs

On the heels of President Barack Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University, an international group of influential Black Stanford alumni today announced the creation of a $5 million investment fund that will provide financial support and resources to techpreneurs that are current students and recent graduates. The Black Angel Technology Investment Fund (BATIF) aims to bridge the gap in technology funding by helping Blacks develop and launch entrepreneurial ventures.

Despite the increasing number of Black entrepreneurs over the past 20 years, very few have been able to gain access to private equity, angel investor and venture capital communities that have driven investment in the innovative new companies and industries, especially in the technology space.

“During and since our time at Stanford, the BATIF founders have all been involved with and exposed to leading solutions and technologies that have shaped today’s technological landscape,” said co-founder Obi Ugwonali. “Establishing an investment fund and incubator furthers our influence and outreach by allowing us to invest in innovative Black entrepreneurs and startups that will lead the next wave of technological advancement.”

“Our goal is to identify early stage startups and provide them with necessary capital and mentorship,” said Kwame Anku. “Our guiding light for our investment decisions is triple bottom line: Create more opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter this space, create more returns for investors who are not normally in this space, and create social impact that makes the world a better place.”

The selected companies will go through a rigorous process which will include industry recommendations and a three-tier competition. BATIF also plans to provide discretionary funds to co-invest with other angel funds for exciting new companies that are already attracting investment.

“There simply aren’t enough investors willing to really sit and listen to young black entrepreneurs,” said Ayanna Wooten-Days. “The fund shifts the narrative.”

“Our team will take a hands-on approach, leveraging our startup experience, industry knowledge, and networks to help the techpreneurs meet their goals while part of the incubator,” said Marc Mitchell.

“Unique to BATIF are the relationships and communities that we have fostered which will support and bolster our techpreneurs,” said Ronald Berry. “Our sizeable network and community of accomplished Black professionals provide an association of mentors, corporate partners and investors that our startups can rely on to succeed.”

BATIF also announced the launch of the Black Angel Technology Innovation Foundation. The foundation will seek to impact the success rate for Black technology entrepreneurial endeavors.

“You don’t have to look far to encounter data that confirms Blacks are underrepresented in tech companies as both investors and creators,” said Myisha Gatson. “It shouldn’t be a surprise then that Black entrepreneurial endeavors are perceived as less likely to succeed. The foundation will change both the perception and the reality for Black entrepreneurs.”

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