Nex Cubed’s HBCU Accelerator is a beacon of support for diverse startups, catalyzing growth where it’s needed most. This initiative shines by equipping founders from historically black colleges and universities with vital resources. The accelerator doesn’t just boost immediate business needs; it propels long-term innovation. Within its ecosystem, each diverse startup benefits thrice: through mentorship, networking, and investment. Nex Cubed’s commitment reinforces a thriving, diverse entrepreneurial landscape, ensuring the accelerator’s enduring legacy in startup communities.
Black founders have long struggled to access venture capital, with only 2% of VC dollars reaching their businesses each year. In 2022, this already small figure decreased by 45%. San Diego-based early-stage accelerator Nex Cubed is taking action to address this issue by prioritizing Black and diverse founders through its HBCU Founders Fund accelerator program.
Nex Cubed has a history of supporting diverse and minority founders, with 60% of its portfolio founders being women and underrepresented individuals in the past. The program has announced the participation of eight startups, including AllPeep, BE$TOW, Enrichly, GRADIFY, Guilde, SoleSafe, Spendebt, and Transition.
The program recognizes the underutilized talent pool among historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and aims to provide resources and capital to help level the playing field. The HBCU Founders Fund accelerator is a sixteen-week program, unlike other accelerators that typically last 10 to 12 weeks. Each startup will receive up to $400,000 in funding and will conclude with an in-person showcase pitch event in Silicon Valley.
Nex Cubed customizes its programming for each startup, handpicking industry advisors who provide relevant expertise. This approach is designed to offer founders the support and guidance they need to succeed.
Nex Cubed believes in a hybrid model for its programming, combining virtual elements with in-person interactions to foster meaningful relationships and amplify networking opportunities.
In addition to the Founders Fund, Nex Cubed also offers a free pre-accelerator program through its HBCU Founders Initiative (HBCUFI) nonprofit. This program is aimed at HBCU students at the idea stage of their ventures, helping them become “venture-ready.”
By prioritizing Black and diverse founders, Nex Cubed is working to address the funding gap and create opportunities for underrepresented voices in the tech industry.