Two social entrepreneurs and champions of diverse founders, Allison Byers of Scroobious and Kathryn Rose of wiseHer, are thrilled to announce the launch of founderUPTM, a unique program aimed at helping underrepresented start-up founders get funded. Many women and minority founders do not have access to critical financial and professional support. founderUP will open access to education, tools, and advisors that has historically been restricted to those who receive Venture Capital (VC) funding or are accepted by accelerators.
“Unfortunately, we still see a lot of inequality when it comes to the allocation of VC funding,” shares Rose. “Incredibly, only 2% of funding goes to women, and only 0.7% goes to Black founders. This desperately needs to change, and the first step is to ensure all founders have access to the business resources they need to set them off on the road to success.”
An expert in sales and networking, Rose has been helping women and small business owners develop their skills and businesses by providing connections 1:1 with world-class experts through her technology platform, wiseHer. Members of founderUPwill have exclusive on-demand access to wiseHer’s bank of nearly 2,000 expert advisors across 26 countries where they can gain insight into the business areas of product-market fit, marketing, sales, legal, and more.
Meanwhile, Byers brings a wealth of knowledge from a fundraising perspective through her organization Scroobious. One of the major issues overlooked founders encounter is a lack of access to early-stage funding, which is often provided to more traditional start-up founders by friends and family. Scroobious provides the education, tools, and community founders need to create investor-ready pitch material and a platform to help investors easily find and connect with those founders. founderUP members will have access to their signature “Pitch It Plan.”
“There is a lot of talk in the investment world about funding underrepresented founders, but not a lot of action,” shares Byers. “Founders don’t need more mentors, they need hands-on tools and tangible support from people who understand what they’re going through so they can secure the capital they need to move their business forward.”
Unlike traditional start-up cohort-based accelerators that work on the mentor’s time, founderUP provides help to founders as they need it, when they need it. Founders can apply on a rolling basis by completing this online form.
While wiseHer and Scroobious coordinate the program, it is primarily funded through the generosity of sponsors. With a strong base of new founders already in the queue waiting for support, founderUP is now seeking additional sponsors. Beyond just providing funds, sponsors can elect to host workshops and events, create content, and engage their CSR and/or affinity groups to volunteer their time and expertise to founders in the program.
Sponsors can find more information and get in touch at https://www.founderup.org.