The year 2011 was a groundbreaking year for minorities in Technology. The first cycle of the NewME Accelerator, a residential technology startup for businesses that are led by women, African Americans and Latinos, produced the most successful round of seed funding among that demographic in over a decade. The Accelerator was created as a catalyst to make the Internet industry more inclusive. With 60 percent of the founders receiving an average funding amount of $92,000, it’s a huge victory for tech enthusiasts who have lobbied for diversity in Silicon Valley for years.
An anonymous exit survey was completed by all the participants at the completion of the Accelerator. Among the 10 founders, 56 percent stated that they gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on how to pitch Venture Capitalists and speak the vernacular of the Valley. They ranked their access to influential people in the 89 percentile, with an astonishing 63 percent planning to relocate to Silicon Valley permanently. Lastly, 89 percent of the founders said they’d recommend the Accelerator to others with a whopping 100 percent stating that they were satisfied with their overall experience.
The inaugural class of the NewME Accelerator received a unique bonus by being covered in CNN’s Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley documentary. After the show aired, fans and admirers took to social media to congratulate founders, research their products and sign up to stay informed on future developments. Over 500 of those same fans signed up to be a part of NewME Community in 38 cities around the country. NewME Community was created to educate and empower tech-forward entrepreneurs by promoting diversity through world-changing ideas. With a national community of followers, a plan to do two cycles this year, and a loyal sponsorship from tech giant Google, the success train is definitely accelerating for NewME.