Letter from Preston: Looking Back | Leaping Forward

When DivInc launched back in 2016, our goal was to remove the barriers that inhibit underrepresented tech founders from fully and freely participating in the innovation economy. Our focus came down to one word - access! Access to knowledge, networks, and capital were the keys to founder success. 

DivInc’s mission is to generate social and economic equity through entrepreneurship by supporting early-stage founders to build investable companies. This is a really heavy lift when you are talking about creating real systemic change within our institutions and our society.

Creating something new is an intimidating and exhilarating experience. Many of you are founders and leaders so you know what I mean. 

When we imagined DivInc, we knew we had something we believed in, but what we didn’t know was if the world would see it, embrace it and support it. Then, you all came into our lives. It’s a wonderful thing to successfully bring your vision to fruition. But it is a special kind of miracle to find other people who believe in your vision too and are willing to pour themselves into it. 

Every founder, mentor, partner, volunteer, team member, community supporter, and friend served as part of the foundation on which we built this organization. Thank you.

We built something that was needed and you came. We found our people. You are our people. Look at what we accomplished over the last five years.

We’ve done some incredible work in our first 5 years. There is so much more work to be done. Just think what kind of impact we can make if we go from 100 founders completing our accelerator program every five years to 100 founders per year completing the program. We have a path to help us get there. The strong execution of our 3-year strategic plan will enable us to continue our growth regionally and nationally. These goals are the bridge between where we are and where we want to be. They are the building blocks we will use to sure up our foundation so we can step into our future confidently.

2022-2024 Strategic Goals

Strategic Goal #1: Clear Impact.

Use key metrics aligned with our mission to track and report the impact of our core programming and initiatives.

Strategic Goal #2: Ready for Growth.

Build the infrastructure, development program, and people capacity to achieve our long-term goals.

Strategic Plan Goal #3: World-Class Board.

Recruit board members of varying expertise and background to build a team that exemplifies best practices and can confidently bring forth our vision.

Strategic Goal #4: Bring Funding Online.

Employ new financial support for program participants and funding opportunities for alumni and underrepresented founders.

Strategic Goal #5: Lead on Issues.

Establish DivInc as a thought leader and issue advocate. We will set a tone, shape the conversation, and give a consistent, increasingly national voice to the challenges facing the communities we serve. 

DivInc Sacred Stones

Sacred Stone #1: Dedication to our founders

We started DivInc for the underrepresented startup founder battling systematic challenges to their success. We have always had a founder first mentality and that will continue. If it is not impacting our founders in a positive way, we will not do it.

Sacred Stone #2: Dedication to community

Collaboration over competition is the DivInc way. Whether it be the connections we build within each cohort or the partnerships we build on behalf of the organization, community is always our focus. Like family, we may not always agree, but we will always have love for each other.

Sacred Stone #3: Dedication to empowerment

We create opportunities for the people who engage within DivInc to be amplified. Not just founders, but mentors, investors, and corporations are given the opportunity to engage with us and our community like they haven't been able to do before.

Join us in 2022 as we continue to grow our impact across Texas and continue to transform the hearts and minds of startup ecosystems. Over the coming years, we know we’re going to face some strong headwinds given the current climate in our country, but together through strong collaboration, I’m confident we’ll create the systemic change we all want to see. 

Our journey began with a brainstorming session in a huddle room at Capital Factory, Austin. Since then we have grown by leaps and bounds but our north star has stayed true - social and economic equity through entrepreneurship. 

Thanks to 2020, the relevance of our mission and the value of our vision were put on full display on a global scale. Whether it be the overwhelming need for women and minority owned businesses in our own backyard of Austin, the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of our founders or the seismic shift that was the #blacklivesmatter movement, 2020 has strengthened my belief in the importance of dismantling the systems and biases holding back underrepresented founders.

DivInc took the hardships of this year as a chance to clearly define and develop the role we play in our community of like-minded organizations and the tech ecosystem as a whole.
Leveling up to a new phase comes with its own challenges. But we can meet each one of them together. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.