Accelerator Program

Our flagship program, Black Founders Hub, is a 10 week accelerator for early stage Black-led startups in Western Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan). It provides end-to-end foundational training to launch ventures in any sector, including idea validation, funding approval, and customer discovery. Successful graduates will gain access to funders, partners and resources throughout our network.

Our 2022 cohorts are fully booked! We are currently considering candidates for three 2023 cohorts, which each will include 10 virtual group sessions held Thursdays at 6:30pm MST commencing next March, July, and October. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and we select candidates by curating small dynamic groups of 10-12 — if you are not contacted to join the next cohort, we will keep your application in consideration indefinitely. Please review our Program Requirements before applying.

Who this program is 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.

Startups we’ve advanced

Having worked with 30 startups this 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 the they’re saying 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%

Awards

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

Fundraising Track

Sponsorship to attend Class Rebel to craft and target your pitch for angel investors and VCs. For entrepreneurs who demonstrate clarity in their business idea, fluency in its inherent issues and opportunities, and familiarity with their industry landscape.

Finance

Exclusive assistance to receive financing, Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits and other domestic and international government incentive programs, comprehensive advising on all eligible government funding for your business, and financial services, including with Deloitte and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. For startups at any revenue level pursuing non-dilutive funding.

Network Introductions

Connection across government, research institutions, talent hubs, startup ecosystems, investor communities, and impact organizations. For entrepreneurs who demonstrate consistency in their approach to their business, and pinpoint a variety of resources and potential collaborations needed for next steps.

Tech Credits

Free access to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and IBM. For businesses who demonstrate a forward-looking innovative mindset to embrace ongoing modernization, may fundamentally require advanced technology within their product, and are close to customer discovery.

CRM Platform

Free multi-year access to a Customer Relations Management platform including sentiment analysis technology. For businesses who are gaining users or customers, and demonstrate attention to detail in Service Design.

Extended Mentorship

Book individual BFH mentor meetings for an additional period after the conclusion of the program. For entrepreneurs who achieved 100% program session attendance, and have a specific challenge they addressed during the program and would like to continue refining.

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Official Reference

Letter of support, recommendation and nomination written on behalf of BIPOC Foundation upon request. For entrepreneurs pursuing external opportunities for their business that require references to qualify.

Internal Reference

Bypass waitlists or vetting processes and receive priority access or consideration for other BIPOC Foundation programs such as for mentorship, business planning and bespoke advising. For entrepreneurs who aim to deepen their Learning & Development across functions and subject matter to prepare and stay prepared for their industry.

Sustainability Planning

Tailored transitions to complementary BIPOC Foundation programs such as LIFT Business Planning to pursue financing, Mentorship to hit SMART Goals over the long term, or Finance Fridays to optimize costing models –– directly based on your outcomes from BFH. For entrepreneurs who have unique milestones for their business outside of our traditional award offerings.

Books

A free copy of The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company. For entrepreneurs who demonstrate adaptability in evolving their business idea.

Swag

A BFH T-shirt and BIPOC Foundation tote bag sent to your door. For all entrepreneurs who meet the minimum requirements to complete the program.

Community

Access closed social media groups exclusive to Black Founders Hub alumni for sharing ideas and updates, cultivating connections, expanding your network, and having others to share your journey with. For all entrepreneurs who meet the minimum requirements to complete the program.

Promotion

Get featured in our social media, newsletter, website, and our upcoming podcast and blog outlets to promote your business and inspire other entrepreneurs through your story. For businesses in a growth phase requiring exposure to wider audiences.

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

Benefits

Experience

small cohorts with individual consultations for us to get to know your business.

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

We will take you through the key components of launching or significantly advancing your business end-to-end. Each week, you will hear from an expert presenter and receive a corresponding assignment to apply directly within your business with the assistance of our world-class presenters and mentors. We will get to know your business in depth, and curate individual mentor meetings to address your unique challenges. Our program is facilitated on easy-to-use platforms accessible via web or mobile app.

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

To ensure that each entrepreneur gets the most out of the program and that BIPOC Foundation makes the best use of our resources to deliver the intended impact, the following are required in order for entrepreneurs to complete the program and be eligible to receive the program Awards & Benefits (i.e. funding tracks, sponsorships, network introductions, perks). Failure to meet the requirements may result in withdrawal from the program at BIPOC Foundation’s discretion.

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