LAB FUND

📢 Applications are open!

Supported by Google for Startups, Mark Cuban Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and other donors, the HBCUvc Lab Fund is a teaching venture capital fund where entrepreneurs are selected by HBCUvc Fellows. The program serves a dual purpose of offering:

  • Experience in startup investing and entrepreneur support to our Fellows in our training programs

  • Providing training and funding support to early-stage entrepreneurs from historically excluded racial and ethnic groups. These may include Black, Indigenous, and Latinx entrepreneurs or other US racial and ethnic minorities.

Funding

Founders selected by the Fellows receive access to our training programs, investor network, and non-dilutive funding as follows:

  • $5,000 for student entrepreneurs

  • $10,000 for non-student entrepreneurs


The lab fund will annually allocate half of the fund to support entrepreneurs with an affiliation (student or alumni) to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Eligibility Criteria

  • Entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for funding if they are students, alumni, or faculty of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or any other US racial or ethnic minority

  • Company must US based.

  • Building technology or technology-enabled companies. A minimum viable product (MVP) is required.

  • Entrepreneurs must be interested in building a venture back-able business, and raising venture capital at a later time.

  • Entrepreneurs are not required to have an LLC or C-corp set up.


Program Outcomes

During the six-month program, founders will be invited to attend HBCUvc community events, monthly check ins, quarterly CEO forums, and startup workshops. They will also be enabled to leverage the HBCUvc community by making strategic asks. This includes the support of the HBCUvc Fellows and access to HBCUvc’s exclusive list of investment partner firms and additional high-level contacts.


Following the six months, we aim for founders to achieve the following outcomes:


  • Foundational knowledge of types/stages/fit for VC funding


  • Capital investment secured via HBCUvc network introductions


  • Expanded networks in the VC and Entrepreneurial community


  • Direct technical support by HBCUvc network and fellows


  • Progress in custom business milestones


  • Awareness and pursuit of opportunities shared through the HBCUvc network

If this sounds like a fit for you or a rising founder that you know, we encourage you to apply.

Applications for our January 2022 cohort open on June 10, 2021.

Portfolio

JoinmiPlatform helping college students connect and complete tasks together
A movement dedicated to increasing math confidence, awareness, enthusiasm, identity, fluency and persistence in children, with a focus on girls and black children


A job marketplace for production professionals that connects studios to vetted local crew


A math curriculum and app taught through playing popular songs on the piano


Sustainable supply chain solutions to reduce costs, inefficiencies, and mitigate waste towards a zero emissions planet


Provides easy access to essential and life-saving medications to improve health


On-blade gas turbine sensors for real-time health monitoring


BatteryXChangeProviding mobile charging solutions
Church SpaceHelping churches turn their unused space into opportunity
gBookPlatform for students to buy and sell on campus

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the HBCUvc fund size?

    • We plan to deploy $1M over the next year. Half of the fund is dedicated to founders with an HBCU affiliation.


When do applications for the January 2022 cohort open?

    • Applications open June 10th 2021


When do applications for the January 2022 cohort close?

    • Applications close December 1st 2021


Is the program in-person or virtual?

    • The program is virtual, though we are considering some in-person options for events as the COVID vaccine continues to roll out


What is the time commitment?

    • The only required time commitments we ask you to participate in are during:

      • Our one week virtual founder kickoff retreat (~1-2 hours a day)

      • Our virtual founder showcase (~1-2 hours)

    • We also host community monthly events, workshops, as well as founder check ins that are optional, but we would love to see you there


Does it cost me anything to participate?

    • The program is free for all accepted companies. Companies must go through an application process to be selected by the HBCUvc Fellows for this program. To add, HBCUvc provides non-dilutive funding for all selected companies.


Did we forget something here? Feel free to reach out to our Program Associate, Jameela Bahar, at jameela@hbcu.vc with any additional questions.