Many companies know about Techstars, the accelerator program that offers programs in cities across the country. But the Techstars Foundation, a non-profit organization, supports the startup community in a different way. The foundation aims to improve gender, racial, and socio-economic diversity in the technology industry through an array of awards that support organizations that share similar diversity goals. We think it’s an awesome way to encourage innovation, so we wanted to highlight the program here.
Five recipients were chosen from more than 165 grant requests. Here’s a quick look at the awesome companies.
Astia – Women are underrepresented in the tech sector, a shortcoming that Astia aims to address. The organization has a broad network of serial entrepreneurs, investors, corporate leaders, accountants, and lawyers, which it uses to support female entrepreneurs and women-led companies.
Patriot Boot Camp – Military veterans don’t have a lot of support making the transition from the armed forces to the private sector. Patriot Boot Camp offers an intensive program that provides mentorship and other support for veterans trying to scale technology businesses.
Defy Ventures – People with criminal histories have a notoriously difficult time finding a place in the workforce, let alone starting a company. Defy offers an array of services intended to support such individuals as they pursue entrepreneurship.
Change Catalyst – The education, mentoring, and funding that many startups seek can be even more difficult to navigate for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Change Catalyst works to connect entrepreneurs to these support opportunities.
Gaza Sky Geeks – When Gaza makes headlines, it’s usually because of political or military conflict in the Middle East. Gaza Sky Geeks is Gaza’s only startup accelerator, started in 2011 with support from Google. Even amid the regional strife, Gaza Sky Geeks is supporting innovative companies and ideas coming from the region.
Besides financial support, each of the grant recipients will be connected to Techstars’ broader support network of mentors, alumni companies, and investors. The Foundation is now accepting applications for the fall. To learn more about Techstars Foundation or other support systems for startups, check out their website.