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Kathryn Finney, founder of digitalundivided (DID) announced the launch of an initiative called the BIG Innovation Center in Atlanta at the SXSW 2016.
Founded in 2012, DID is a pioneering organization focused mainly on Black and Latina women founders in startups and tech with 48 companies built and $13 million raised in investments, while reaching over 2000 people.
Under the organization, Finney has bridged the digital gap for women of diverse ethnicities connecting them with investors and influencers to expand their entrepreneur ideas through networking, training and funding.
Their #ProjectDiane research study exposed the state of Black women in entrepreneurship and tech in the United States. After studying dozens of startups by Black women and over 300 Black women-led companies, their research found that women with unconventional backgrounds are led to build innovative companies that expand across the U.S.
“Moreover, we have only been able to verify 11 startups led by Black women that have raised at least a million dollars,” Finney said in an interview with Model View Culture.
The BIG Innovation Center will house the BIG accelerator program, which is a 16 week program for potential start ups led by Black and Latina Founders and financed by the Harriet Fund; the center will be led by Finney and investment expert Gayle Jennings O’Byrne. According to The Root, The Harriet Fund and the Harriet Angels Syndicate is the first venture fund focused on investing in exceptional black and Latina women.
Hoping to be a huge resource for the black tech community, BIG will begin accepting accelerator applications in the first week in May, and although Finney says the selection process will be tough, she encourages everyone to apply.
DID runs the BIG Innovation Center, home to the BIG accelerator program, a 16 week program for high potential startups led by Black and Latina Founders. She is also a General Partner in the Harriet Fund, the first pre-seed venture fund focused on investing the untapped potential of high potential Black and Latina women led startups.
Photo Credit: kathrynfinney.com