Accelerator Program

Welcome to Black Founders Hub, Western Canada’s hub for empowering early-stage Black-led startups, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Our 10-week accelerator program offers training to launch your venture, guiding you from idea validation to funding and customer discovery.

Join our network of graduates, funders, and partners, and apply for our next cohort starting on April 11th. With 10 virtual sessions on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. MST, we foster small, dynamic groups of  10-12 participants for solid, lasting relationships.

We review applications on a rolling basis, so don’t worry if you don’t hear from us immediately. Your application will be considered for future opportunities. Please review our Program Requirements before applying. We’re excited to start this journey with you!

2024 Accelerator Dates

Cohort 7 (April 11) / Cohort 8 (July 4) / Cohort 9 (October 10)

Who this program for?

We welcome entrepreneurs from the idea phase to Series A in any sector.

Pre-startup

You have a business idea and need to lay the groundwork to build it out.

Pre-revenue

You have made considerable progress constructing your business but have not gone to market yet.

Early growth

Your business generates revenue, but you need to fill in some foundational gaps and pursue the next phase or funding round.

Who are BFH’s alumni?

Having worked with 50 startups this past year, we are thrilled to showcase recent high potential graduates and what they have to say about their experience in the program.

Get your carbon footprint in realtime with every transaction.

Virtual simulations to detect problems with oil & gas drilling.

A secure, convenient platform for international students to pay tuition.

Authorized East African wildlife safari trips to all national parks.

Online essentials shopping and delivery for people with mobility issues.

Premium men’s underwear for active professional lifestyles.

What do they think about it?

  • Strongly agree the program enabled me to advance my business in some way 80% 80%
  • Very likely to recommend the program to other entrepreneurs 90% 90%
  • Will continue using the program materials after graduating 90% 90%
  • Strongly agree the facilitators stimulated my interests in the topics covered 70% 70%
  • Strongly agree the facilitators promoted an environment that helped me to learn 90% 90%
  • Strongly agree the facilitators were respectful and considerate 100% 100%

Why Join Us? Discover the Benefits!

Participants who complete the program become eligible for the following.
Awards may be subject to change.

Fundraising Track

Join us at Class Rebel, where we’ll help you shape and focus your pitch for angel investors and VCs. If you’re an entrepreneur with a clear vision of your business idea, an understanding of its challenges and potential, and knowledge of your industry, we invite you to apply for sponsorship.

Finance

Are you a startup looking for financial support? We’re here to help you navigate the world of financing, including Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits and various domestic and international government incentives. Whether you’re just starting out or growing, our team will provide comprehensive guidance on all eligible government funding, in collaboration with trusted partners like Deloitte and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Network Introductions

Let’s connect the dots for you! If you’re an entrepreneur with a consistent approach to your business and an eye for resources and collaborations, we’re here to bridge the gap. Join our community where we link you with government bodies, research institutions, talent hotspots, startup circles, investor groups, and impactful organizations.

Tech Credits

We offer free access to top-notch platforms like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and IBM. If your product needs advanced technology and you’re keen on modernizing and getting closer to customer discovery, we’re here to support you.

Extended Mentorship

Did you complete our program with 100% attendance and find yourself facing a specific challenge you’d like to keep working on? We’re here for you! As part of our ongoing commitment to your success, we invite you to book individual BFH mentor meetings even after the program concludes. Together, in a supportive and professional setting, we’ll continue to refine and overcome those challenges.

CRM Platform

For businesses dedicated to Service Design and growth, our program provides free multi-year access to a top-notch Customer Relations Management platform with sentiment analysis. Enhance your customer connections in a supportive, professional community. Let’s thrive together!

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Official Reference

At our foundation, we stand by the entrepreneurs who are pursuing new opportunities for their businesses. If you need references to qualify for external opportunities, we’re here to help with a letter of support, recommendation, or nomination. Crafted with care by the BIPOC Foundation, these letters are a testament to our belief in your potential and our commitment to your success.

Internal Reference

Entrepreneurs aiming to deepen their Learning & Development across various functions and subjects can find a supportive partner in the BIPOC Foundation. Our program offers the opportunity to bypass waitlists and receive priority access to essential resources like mentorship, business planning, and personalized advising. 

Sustainability Planning

For entrepreneurs with distinct milestones beyond our usual awards, the BIPOC Foundation offers tailored transitions to programs like LIFT Business Planning, Mentorship for SMART Goals, and Finance Fridays. Aligned with your BFH outcomes, we’re here to support your unique journey to success in a community that champions your vision.

Books

Entrepreneurs who show adaptability in evolving their business idea are invited to benefit from a free copy of “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company.”

Swag

For all entrepreneurs who meet the minimum requirements to complete the program, we have a special token of appreciation! A BFH T-shirt and BIPOC Foundation tote bag will be sent to your door.

Community

Completing our program opens doors to a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. All entrepreneurs who meet the minimum requirements are invited to join closed social media groups exclusive to Black Founders Hub alumni. Here, you can share ideas, cultivate connections, expand your network, and find companionship on your entrepreneurial journey.

Promotion

For businesses in a growth phase needing exposure to wider audiences, we offer an exciting opportunity to shine. Get featured in our social media, newsletter, website, and our upcoming podcast and blog outlets. It’s not just about promoting your business; it’s about sharing your inspiring story with a community eager to learn from your journey.

If you haven’t, check out our social media and newsletter!

Benefits

Experience

Small cohorts with individual consultations

Learn

Leading methodologies for launching products and services end-to-end

Discover

The overlooked issues and untapped opportunities within your business

Implement

New insights within your business in real-time that generate material results

Connect

With the BIPOC Foundation community to personally support each other

Access

 Ongoing advisory services and seamlessly navigate our suite of programs

Curriculum

Join our program, and embark on a comprehensive journey to launch or significantly advance your business. Each week, you’ll engage with expert presenters, receive hands-on assignments, and apply new insights directly to your business with the guidance of our world-class mentors. We take the time to understand your unique challenges and curate individual mentor meetings to address them. Accessible via web or mobile app, our easy-to-use platforms make it simple to connect.

Week 1

UX Research

Refocus your personal purpose for entrepreneurship, examine the problem your business aims to solve, and address the challenges that drive the most value.

Week 2

Service Design

Dissect your customer’s core needs, frustrations and motivations, and tailor their journey through discovering and experiencing your product.

Week 3

Market Analysis

Scan and map out where you fit in the industry, evaluate your competitors, and build on each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Week 4

Product Management

Understand iterative prototyping and user testing methods, and structure a smarter strategy for how you establish your MVP and continue to innovate within your product.

Week 5

Ecosystem Building

Design a network of stakeholders across a variety of organizations and people that enables you to share resources through strategic partnerships.

Week 6

Branding & Communications

Make your visual identity memorable and high quality with accessible tools and techniques, and build a promo plan that leverages partnerships and community.

Week 7

Management & Leadership

Establish your core values as a leader and apply them to cultivate, sustain and retain teams.

Week 8

Business Development

Utilize thorough frameworks to establish objectives, measure performance, prioritize projects, and maximize impact.

Week 9

Funding Landscape

Identify and target opportunities to pursue angel investors, VCs, Micro-VCs, sponsors, and government grants.

Week 10

Pitch Preperation

Articulate your takeaways from each module in a format that prepares you to approach investors.

Program Requirements

At the BIPOC Foundation, we’re dedicated to your success. To be eligible for our program’s Awards & Benefits, including funding tracks, sponsorships, and more, certain requirements must be met. These guidelines ensure a meaningful experience for all and help us make the best use of our resources. While failure to meet these requirements may lead to withdrawal, we’re here to support you in a space that values collaboration and growth.

Attendance

  • Minimum 8/10 weekly group sessions (1.5 hours per session)
  • Cannot miss two consecutive sessions
  • First and last sessions mandatory
  • Be on time and present on camera
  • At least 24-48 hours advance notice for missing a session unless in case of emergency or exceptional cases
  • Keep an attendance log

Assignments

  • Commit 3-6 hours per week outside of the weekly group sessions
  • Complete all assignments to the best of your ability, and consult a mentor if in need of assistance
  • Make meaningful progress on each assignment prior to the next session
  • Keep an assignments log

Mentorship

  • Hold an individual mentor meeting at least once every two weeks (total five)
  • Hold no more than 12 individual mentor meetings
  • At least 24-48 hours advance notice for cancelling mentor meetings unless in case of emergency or exceptional cases
  • Keep a log of mentor meeting attendance
  • Attend at least one peer-to-peer mentor session organized by BIPOC Foundation
  • Hold at least one additional consultation meeting with the BIPOC Foundation Member Support Services to evaluate further opportunities for your business

Participation

  • Utilize our dedicated digital communication platforms where the program is facilitated
  • Be responsive to communications within 16 normal operating hours or two business days
  • Contribute to weekly check-ins such as sharing a resource or commenting on peer questions and discussion topics
  • Give a final presentation
  • Complete post-program feedback survey within one week of the final session
  • Cooperate with submission and correspondence deadlines for optional promotional opportunities (e.g. photos, images, bio, testimonial, interview, blog, stories, release forms, agreements).

Pre-requisites

  • Beginner awareness of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Watch a short tutorial on the online platforms that will be used to facilitate the program (provided upon acceptance to the program)
  • A phone or virtual interview prior to acceptance to the program
  • Sign an agreement to follow our program requirements, standards & policies, and code of conduct
  • Any additional participating members of your team must sign the agreement before the program begins

Accelerated by

We have partnered with ISM to craft and deliver a first-of-its-kind program with world-class facilitators from the cutting edge of business, design, social innovation, and international relations.

Our facilitators have worked with

Questions?

Contact Program Director Scott Mallory, Jr. at scott@bipocfoundation.org