Alberta-based Black Business Ventures Association (BBVA) is launching the Black Seed Accelerator Program to provide support to Black tech-led startups in Canadian Prairies.
Starting on Nov. 5, the 12-week accelerator program is designed for early-stage Black tech startups in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba that want access to online curriculum, community coaching, and funding to launch their ideas to market. It aims to help these founders turn their ideas into businesses with paying clients within the program’s duration.
The application deadline is October 22, 2021.
BBVA says that black-led startups in this country fail not only because they lack money, infrastructure, or mentorship – there is also an underrepresentation and diversity problem in the Canadian tech industry. A 2019 report from Brookfield Institute confirms this, noting that only 2.6 per cent of the tech workforce in Canada is Black.
BBVA, which is composed of Black leaders with decades of experience in entrepreneurship, startup funding, and marketing, says it aims to bridge the gap between the Black community and the Canadian technology ecosystem. The organization’s mission is to help establish 1000 successful Black-led tech and tech-enabled businesses in Canada by 2030.
“Our program presents a significant opportunity to invest in underrepresented Black tech founders and startups and drive significant economic outcomes,” says BBVA.
Who is eligible to apply?
The program focuses on early-stage companies, registered by Black-led tech founders, building sustainable business models with the potential to impact the global market.
Those interested can apply here.
How does it work?
Step 1: Upon joining the accelerator program, founders will be able to validate their idea against market research with the help of BBVA. The BBVA Playbook will allow them to test their assumptions and create a venture capital (VC)-worthy business plan.
Step 2: Once the idea has been validated, BBVA will support founders in using its network of experts and investors to enhance their influence and expand their knowledge.
Step 3: After founders have connected with BBVA’s network, the organization will support them in their search for funding, and provide them with coaching on how to pitch and navigate the startup ecosystem.
There is no cost for participation once applicants qualify, and they do not have to give up any equity to participate. In addition, the program is flexible and remote, making it easy for participants to gain accessibility and be part of a community, the organization explains.