2021 Theme: Equity In Motion
As North Texas’s premier accelerator program for under-estimated women and founders of color, Impact Ventures has successfully launched its third cohort with a unique focus on three entrepreneur archetypes: Traditional Small Business Owners, Social Entrepreneurs, and Tech-driven entrepreneurs, with an effort to create a pipeline to its recently announced Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund and increase overall funding being allocated to groups historically excluded from building wealth through entrepreneurship. The program is supported by Capital One, Santander, Communities Foundation of Texas W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund, Deloitte, Husch Blackwell, Simmons Bank, among others.
After successfully pivoting to an all-virtual model, Impact Ventures has named the new members of its Spring 2021 Accelerator cohort. In addition to the all-virtual model, Impact Ventures launched a new Local Enterprise Accelerator Program (LEAP) Track with place-based focus on traditional small business owners located in North Texas with emphasis on South and Southern Dallas Zip-codes looking to grow through access to flexible debt capital, such as revenue based financing and lines of credit. Impact Ventures also recently launched the Kiva DFW hub, to provide 0% interest community loans through international nonprofit and crowdfunding platform Kiva. Ran concurrently, Impact Ventures also new Inclusive Innovation Program Track focuses on high-growth tech or tech-enabled enterprises that are finding product market fit and/or seeking pre-seed and seed stage equity capital.
Late last year, Impact Ventures was awarded the prestigious Pegasus Award, given by The Dallas Foundation to organizations using innovative solutions to solving important and complex challenges. In 2021, Impact Ventures received a $450,00 multi-year gift from Communities Foundation of Texas W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund to support the growth and sustainability of its high-touch, high-impact accelerator programs. Impact Ventures also received a catalytic $200,000 Program Related Investment from the Phillips Foundation to seed the launch of the Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund.
“Within our current system, Women, Black, and Brown entrepreneurs often don’t fit traditional debt or venture capital criteria. We’re creating a model (accelerator, fund, community wealth building) that meets the needs of under-resourced entrepreneurs, creates a new class of non-traditional investors, and transforms communities. It wasn’t just enough to invest in a few under-represented Founders and pat ourselves on the back, we not only want to move capital, but shift power back into the hands of communities to be the deciders of their own fate. With this multi-prong approach we can better serve the unique challenges our communities face to realize our vision of creating an economy where access, opportunity, and prosperity is shared.” – Benjamin J. Vann CEO Impact Ventures.
With the support of over 70+ mentor network Impact Ventures has created a high-touch high-impact model that addresses the individual needs of each founder through capital readiness assessments, milestone-driven growth plans, curated subject matter experts, business perks and resources, guest speakers, and dedicated lead advisors.
Impact Ventures has assembled over $100,00 of business perks, services, and startup resources. Partnering with companies like Jabian Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm with offices in Charlotte, Chicago, and Dallas celebrating its 15-year anniversary by providing mentorship and grant capital for select Impact Ventures LEAP track participants. Also, Husch Blackwell, a national law firm kicked off its ‘Communities for Change’ initiative as a means to leverage the firms resources and human capital to address areas of racial equity. Husch Blackwell attorneys provide pro-bono legal support to Impact Ventures Spring 2021 Program Fellows.
“We’ve really built the program around the entrepreneurs needs,” Vann said. “For us, it’s about going deep with our founders and producing real outcomes that drive change in our communities.”
Meet the members of the Spring 2021 cohort below.
Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program Track
- The Good Jerky (Fort Worth) – a maker of fish-based, health-conscious jerky snacks.
- Goextele Communications (Mesquite) – a broadband services solutions provider focused on commercial and residential customers.
- Le Rouge Cuisine (Dallas) – Le Rouge Cuisine is an elevated Creole fusion Culinary brand that provides unique dining experiences through Catering & Private Chef services for Corporate, Private/Exclusive and Special event clientele.
- CoCo Residential (Dallas) – a real estate services agency.
- Hair By Akoni (Dallas) – a hair product distribution company for people with textured hair.
- MilkSpace (Garland) – MilkSpace provides outdoor portable MilkSpaces to venues/locations who desire to accommodate breastfeeding mothers’ with an on-site private & clean exclusive lactation space.
- CURLe (Dallas) – a brand of hair care products design specifically for people with curly hair
- BCM Engineering Solutions (Dallas) – a process improvement consultation service.
Inclusive Innovation track:
- HomematchX (Dallas) – Homematchx is an offer management tool that helps listing agents provide sellers with the absolute best offer out of many results.
- Church Space (Houston) – Church space is a marketplace that helps Churches rent their empty church buildings to earn revenue
- SOLVE (Dallas) – Solve lets customers shop on-demand virtually from the brands you love without the stresses of in-person shopping
- Reyets (Washington, D.C./Dallas) – Reyets smart app, powered by AI data analysis, is built around a community of change-makers to protect civil rights and empower safer community and police interactions.
- Medworthy (Dallas) –Medworthy provide tools to our clients which focuses on vehicle disaster prevention by studying driver behavior and habits.
- LTR NOW (Fort Worth) – Ltr Now is an enhanced due diligence platform that helps landlords protect their properties by verifying and validating residential rental prospects.
- Modern City (Anchorage, Ak.) – Modern City is an online concierge service that helps savvy business and property owners find good deals in commercial real estate with “right-fit,” “right-cost,” and “right-value” property matches.
- Musa Health (Houston) – a startup focused on helping diaspora members manage and pay for health insurance for family members back home.
- MultiPark Valet (Dallas) – MultiPark Valet, connects everyday drivers to traditional parking facilities for prestigious valet services.
- Concession Delivery (Plano) – Concession Delivery is a fundraising program that helps booster clubs and venues raise more money in less time through an in-seat delivery app.
- Language Learning Market (McKinney) – Language Learning Market is a marketplace that helps parents and educators find curated language learning products with a global one-stop shopping experience.
- Cybershield Security (Dallas) – Cybershield Security is a software and services solution that helps customers protect their assets, reputation and customer information.