our Impact Strategy
BUILDING COMMUNITIES BY BUILDING BUSINESSES
To build supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems, we start by leveraging previously conducted community need-finding activities and execute human-centered design thinking sessions to understand who is active in each community, how decisions are made, what resources exist and how they are allocated, existing strengths and how they have developed, and the culture and history that guides it all. We use an ecosystem diagnostic tool to understand these and other characteristics, informing how we can best support the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Black Communities.
Incubating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Building economies rely on a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. With an initial focus on Indianapolis, we will shift beyond entrepreneur support to focus on developing an interactive ecosystem map that answers the foundational question of “whoʼs doing what, where and incubating the entire ecosystem. Instead of duplicating existing efforts, we will identify gaps and align and coordinate partners across the entrepreneurial ecosystem to meet those needs. In some cases, we may need to provide direct support; in others, we build the capacity of existing stakeholders to meet those needs.
Increasing the Pool of Black Entrepreneurs
Alongside research, we will provide immediate entrepreneur support for Black entrepreneurs. In our pre-Seed track, we will surround these entrepreneurs with supportive communities through the ideation process to find impactful problems to solve, teach how to interview the market to validate the severity of the problem, market size, and current solutions for the problem (competition), how to identify the optimal solution to a problem, Best practices in recruiting a team of co-founders and advisors, expectations for early stage capital raising How to build a go-to-market strategy; including business model, marketing/sales strategy, milestones, and the ask, How to put it all together in a business model that accelerates growth.
Startup capital is the funds a new company raises to meet its initial costs until it begins to be profitable, and it is the oxygen that makes startup businesses live. Traditional bricks and mortar companies often raise this startup capital through bank loans secured by existing assets or equipment purchased with the capital. Startup companies, especially in technology, have few existing assets and generally don’t purchase equipment that could secure loans, so they often turn to different funding sources like Venture capital and Private Equity.