Providing better tools to minority- and female-led ventures.
So we can all do good for the world.
A wide variety of socially driven organizations and minority- and female-led ventures make a tremendous social and economic impact in communities across the region, state, country and globe. Innovate Carolina is here to support their work. We’ve coordinated with entrepreneurial experts to publish a running list of resources available from organizations across the local region, state and country that support minority- and female-led startups and ventures.
If you know of a resource that can help others bolster their businesses and amplify the social and economic good they create, please send us an email.
Local/Regional/North Carolina-Based Angel Investor Groups and Venture Capital
Black Pearl Global Investments is a seed investor in ventures that seek to deploy proven health care initiatives for individuals regardless of their socio-economic status, nationality or geographical location.
One Better Ventures nurtures and develops consumer brands that have a positive impact on the world. It advises, invests in and incubates mission-driven ventures with breakthrough sustainable business models.
Resilient Ventures is committed capital fund dedicated to disrupting systemic economic injustice by expanding access to capital, networks and opportunity to companies led by African American entrepreneurs.
Thread Capital is a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center that provides access to capital, coaching and connections in the belief that, with these tools, entrepreneurs will create jobs and promote more equitable economic mobility in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
xElle Ventures is an early-stage angel network for women founders by women founders, executives and investors.
National Angel Investor Groups and Venture Capital
1863 Ventures accelerates black and brown entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth, through rigorous leadership training and strategic market access. The goal of 1863 Ventures is to reduce barriers and risk for these founders across the nation.
Amplifyher is a venture capital firm that invests in visionary founders with women in decision-making roles.
Backstage Capital aims to invest in the best founders who identify as women, people of color or LGBTQ.
BBG Ventures is an early-stage fund focused on consumer tech startups with female founders.
Bumble Fund aims to build a bigger table in the world of venture capital, investing in early-stage and focusing primarily on businesses founded and led by women of color and those from underrepresented groups.
Camelback Ventures is a venture capital fund, based in New Orleans, that identifies, develops and promotes early-stage, underrepresented entrepreneurs around the country with the aim to increase individual and community education and generational wealth.
Cleo Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in pre-seed and seed-stage tech and tech-enabled investments.
Fearless Fund invests in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed-level or series A financing. The Get Ready Venture Program is a 12-month training program for WOC business owners to acquire the needed training, mentorship, knowledge and skills needed to gain access to capital.
Female Founders Fund is the leading source of institutional capital for female founders raising seed capital with over $3 billion in enterprise value.
Golden Seeds was one of the first angel groups to invest exclusively in women-led companies. It’s now one of the biggest and best-known, with headquarters in New York City and chapters in five other locations.
GV is a venture capital fund that looks to back companies that denounce injustice and work to enact change.
Harlem Capital is a New York based, early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in minority and women founders in the United States.
Humble Ventures focuses on diverse entrepreneurs and those creating solutions for diverse audiences.
Intel Capital Diversity Initiative is the largest diversity fund and invests broadly in what it calls “underrepresented tech entrepreneurs” — women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ entrepreneurs and veterans.
Lightship Capital finds, funds and educates remarkable underrepresented innovators and regions typically excluded from meaningful access to mentorship and venture capital.
Plexo Capital is a venture capital fund that believes that diversity is an unrealized source of differentiation in early-stage venture capital that creates a powerful network effect.
Portfolia provides investment funds for women and minority/women-led founders. Among its funds is the Rising America Fund, which invests directly in early-stage and growth companies in the US, where people of color and LGBTQ investors see opportunity for returns and market impact.
Rethink Impact is a venture capital firm that invests in female leaders using technology to solve the world’s biggest problems.
Competitions and Fellowships
MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge awards more than $1 million in prizes to future-of-work entrepreneurs in four categories that represent the solution types necessary to build an economy that works for all in the digital era.
Pitch is a competition for Black student-founders. Showcase your business, win prizes, and build relationships with investors and other entrepreneurs. Organized by Duke University and North Carolina Central University.
ACCESS Center for Equity + Success, helps minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) thrive equitably by providing access to resources, technical support, contract opportunities and financing. Based in Winston-Salem, NC.
Candide Group works with families, foundations, athletes and cultural influencers who want their money working for justice. It is a Registered Investment Advisor, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and only accepts new clients by invitation.
Carolina Small Business Development Fund fosters economic development in underserved communities by providing capital, business services and policy research to support small businesses.
Fundr is a social impact ‘fund-finding’ platform aimed at charities, social enterprises, community interest companies and all businesses that are socially responsible.
Grants and Venture Philanthropy
As part of Walmart’s larger efforts to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years through Walmart.org’s Center for Racial Equity.
Audacity Labs is a startup incubator and co-working space for teens located in Durham, NC. Its virtual curriculum and amenities empower local 9th-12th grade students with the tools and resources to effectively develop a commercial or social startup.
Black Founders Exchange, in collaboration with Google for Startups, is a curated program designed to move companies with a high-growth, scalable model from initial product to successfully raising seed capital with their business. Based in Durham.
The Boost Pad provides the necessary resources underrepresented founders need to create solutions, build impactful businesses and increase Charlotte’s economic mobility.
Code the Dream offers free intensive training in software development to people from diverse, low-income backgrounds and serves all of North Carolina.
Helius Foundation teaches entrepreneurs how to refine their products, reach customers, create financial tools for their businesses and look for funding. By the end of ten two-hour classes, Helius entrepreneurs have a working business plan and the skills and confidence needed to take their businesses to the next level. Based in Durham.
HUSTLE Winston-Salem helps grow the local economy by accelerating underrepresented entrepreneurs with a focus on women, people of color and marginalized business districts.
Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, alongside statewide education partner NC IDEA, wants to bring the power of entrepreneurial thinking to everyone; more specifically 100,000 North Carolinians by 2025. Ice House programs have occurred in the numerous communities with a variety of organizations.
North Carolina Employee Ownership Center serves as the central hub for information and resources around employee ownership in North Carolina.
SEEN is focused on the Sandhills 10-county Prosperity Zone, providing access to entrepreneur service organizations and entrepreneurs-in-residence, while building an entrepreneurial ecosystem within the southeastern part of NC. It helps entrepreneurs start and sustain their businesses and create jobs.
American Underground is a co-working space based in Durham that fosters a community for startups and provides access to funding, skill-building workshops, mentorships and more.
INvictus Office Center is a co-working community that provides support for startups, entrepreneurs and business professionals through the HUB of Minority Entrepreneurship and is based in Durham.
The Loading Dock is a co-working space with a focus on triple-bottom-line businesses in Raleigh.
Provident 1898 is a co-working community of diverse entrepreneurs, innovators and artists who are passionate about building a more progressive and equitable workplace in Durham.
Raleigh Founded is a co-working space based in Raleigh that fosters inclusive communities of entrepreneurs who create lasting economic and social impact.
ReCity is a co-working space created to help the underserved thrive while promoting efficiency, innovation, collaboration and inspiration among hard-working organizations in the Durham community.
The Thomas Entrepreneurship Hub is home to an incubator and a co-working space for the community and UNC-Pembroke students. The Hub largely serves the Lumbee Tribe.
AfroTech is a web portal and conference where the founders and employees of some of the fastest-growing tech startups present the tactics and strategies they use to grow their products and businesses.
Black Dollar is a growing, online directory for North Carolina Black-owned businesses. If you want to support local and shop from minority-owned businesses, or even list your own, this is a great resource.
Black Entrepreneurs Initiative is founded by several black students at UNC-Chapel Hill to curate and promote UNC student ventures led by minorities. Based in Chapel Hill.
Black Girl Ventures provides Black/Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building in order to meet business milestones that lead to economic advancement through entrepreneurship.
Black Women Talk Tech is co-founded by UNC-Chapel Hill alumna Lauren Washington and is an immersive three-day tech conference designed by black women founders for black women founders.
MIT Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. It is committed to inclusion and diversity to build a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills.
Diversity & HR Solutions is a local consultation practice that helps companies connect with training and HR resources to create inclusive environments. They also host an annual D&I Conference. Based in Raleigh.
Illumen Capital is the first impact-driven private investment firm dedicated to reducing implicit bias across financial markets to unlock returns and impact.
The Institute is a Durham-based organization that offers over 30 years of experience helping clients harness the power of diversity to achieve business and economic objectives. Housed inside the Institute is the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina.
Project Include is a national nonprofit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry.
Triangle Diversity Equity & Inclusion Alliance is an advocate for measures that will create a diverse, equitable and inclusive business region.