DivInc, a premier nonprofit organization founded in 2016 for diversity, equity and inclusion in the startup ecosystem, today announced the launch of its second location in Houston. With the expansion from its first location in Austin, supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co., The Ion and Verizon, DivInc will double its programming and services to help hundreds more startup founders who are people of color grow their own companies - creating jobs and greatly expanding economic mobility.
For each member company, DivInc provides over $100K value in entrepreneur education and support programming, hundreds of hours of executive mentorship, and life-time access to its community and network, all at no cost to founders.
"DivInc is about broadening the startup ecosystem by making it more authentically diverse, equitable and inclusive of underrepresented entrepreneurs. When we, as a community, do this successfully, we optimize our opportunities for economic GDP growth, we can help reduce racial/gender wealth divide, and drive greater innovation." - Preston L. James II, CEO of DivInc
DivInc Houston's first accelerator program is also now accepting applications for its spring 2021 accelerator, focused on innovative solutions that can leverage 5G technology, like IoT, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, enterprise software, Ecommerce and much more.
To make the expansion possible, DivInc's Platinum sponsor for the Houston market JPMorgan Chase & Co. granted DivInc $250K for this partnership, enabling DivInc to begin hiring with competitive salaries - paramount for nonprofit organizations to thrive, and the spring 2021 program title sponsor Verizon granted $175K to implement the program and provide non-dilutive seed funding to each participating company. This is the first time DivInc will be able to offer seed funding to participants directly. In addition, Verizon will provide technical expertise regarding next generation technology such as 5G and mentorship to participating companies.
"We have supported and seen first-hand the impactful work of DivInc in Austin. Theirs is a powerful model of support for entrepreneurs of color, helping them to accelerate growth and expand their business networks. We are convinced DivInc will make an important contribution to Houston's economic vitality."
- Carolyn Watson, Head of philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Houston and Central Texas
"As part of our larger Citizen Verizon responsible business plan, we're proud to partner with DivInc and other organizations that connect diverse technology entrepreneurs with crucial resources to develop innovative solutions and advance their businesses," said
- Carrie Hughes, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Verizon
Strategic partner, The Ion, is DivInc Houston's headquarters through 2023 and secured $605K over three years for DivInc to run their world-class programming at the new, nearly 280,000 square foot entrepreneurial space in midtown Houston.
"Houston is sprinting to boost the city's tech and innovation ecosystem, and DivInc is an organization that will help us take another significant step toward building a global hub for excellence in innovation. Their expansion into Houstonand specifically into The Ion aligns with my focus on opportunity, diversity, and inclusivity to move Houston forward. The success of DivInc means more people of color and more women will grow their own companies. That is something we all should celebrate."
- Sylvester Turner, Houston Mayor
With the expansion into Houston, DivInc welcomes Ashley DeWalt as Managing Director of DivInc Houston and Joy M. Hutton, Program Director for DivInc Houston. With their Houston leadership team in place, DivInc is ready to open its virtual doors.