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Letter from Preston | 2022-2023 Impact Report

Learn more about our impact. Read the 2022-2023 DivInc Impact Report!

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” – Molière

I am blessed, humbled, and proud. I am proud of our DivInc team, our staff, our board of directors, volunteers, mentors, and our funder partners. Thank you!

As a team of passionate people who are committed to the mission, we remained steadfast in the face of adversity this past year to see our way through. I cannot thank everyone enough for staying on the journey with us. This is what champions do and we have a DivInc community full of champions!

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” - Socrates

In 2016, DivInc set out to create change within the startup ecosystem community. Our mission is to generate social and economic equity through entrepreneurship. To do that successfully we had to grow our brand and programming locally, regionally, and nationally. We understood the “old way” and we implemented a new way of doing things while also changing attitudes and mindsets within the communities we engaged.

We continued to learn from our founders, collaborators, and advisors. In 2022, we are proud and confident to say that we have a pre-seed accelerator program model that is amongst the elite in the country! With each cohort accelerator, we are seeing a higher percentage of our portfolio companies move to Seed Stage or Series A.

We continue to deliver exceptional results and experiences for founders during the program but we have also doubled down on our model and to go deeper with our alumni post accelerator via our Portfolio Program to bridge the gap between high-rate scaling and successful exits.

Our brand is strong from coast to coast, as we’re attracting founders, mentors, and partners from all over the country as we continue to intentionally engage with our communities everywhere.  

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” - Barack Obama

We stopped waiting 7 years ago. According to Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Entrepreneurial inequity is the most unrecognized contributor to the racial wealth gap in the United States. While we know that White families have 10 times the wealth of African Americans, research shows that the median net worth for Black business owners is 12 times higher than Black non- business owners. Additionally, when comparing the median wealth of Black and White business owners, the median racial wealth gap decreases to that of three (vs. 10 times). There are similar wealth gap comparisons for the Latino community.

The writing is clearly on the wall!!!

According to McKinsey, US Latinos account for the fastest-growing portion of US GDP. So much so, that if we considered US Latinos as their own country, it would be third only to the GDP growth rate of China and India in the past decade.

Investing in Black and Latino entrepreneurs is imperative because they are the most entrepreneurial groups in the US economy, but they face significant barriers in access to capital—including lower approval rates than non-Latino White-owned businesses for bank loans and private-equity funding.

There is no need to wait! We all know the advantages of entrepreneurship—one of them being, it promotes economic growth and the other is that successful business ownership is a key mode for creating generational wealth.

Therefore, our mission remains on point! Entrepreneurial Equity represents the pathway to economic freedom and growth while also creating the opportunity to reduce the racial wealth gap in the U.S.

“We, DivInc, are going to continue to do our part but in the words of Mother Teresa, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

To create systemic change, it takes action, time, and strong collaborations. We need our existing and new funding partners to continue their strong commitments to economic and wealth development through entrepreneurship to find ways in which we can drive the impact and outcomes we want to see together. Together we can create more seamless paths to inclusive innovation and paths to wealth creation. Similarly, we continue to develop stronger meaningful collaborations with peer ecosystem players.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” - Jackie Robinson

Through this impact report, you’ll learn about the success stories of DivInc portfolio companies and alumni founders.

This report will also show that we had solid financial support in the early part of our fiscal year 2022 (April 2022- March 2023) on the heels of the pandemic. However, going into our fiscal year 2023 we saw a slowdown in funding support, preventing us from executing our accelerator programs in Austin.

After reading this impact report I hope you see and feel the impact that DivInc is generating in the communities we serve, despite the headwinds we have faced. We remain optimistic and undeterred about our ability to have a positive impact on individuals, their families, and our communities.

Our legacy is not done yet! There are more lives to transform, more BIPOC and Women startups to accelerate, and a racial wealth gap to close. We continue to need your steady support to lift us as we climb together.

Join us on this amazing journey of impact!

Sincerely,

- Preston L. James, II

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