PledgeLA Founders Fund
The best ideas have never been bound by zip codes. But access to the capital needed to scale them is not equal – especially for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.
Our goal: generate five times the economic impact in jobs, capital, and revenue for every dollar we raise. After a successful pilot program in South LA, we’re expanding access to Black & Latinx entrepreneurs across LA County.
Click here to read about the impact of our 2021 pilot cohort.
Who This Is For
The PledgeLA Founders Fund is designed to help early-stage businesses grow and thrive. Eligibility requirements for companies include:
- Led by a Black and/or Latinx co-founder based in Los Angeles County*
- Raised less than $250,000 from any source prior to applying
- Have an innovative product with evidence of traction
* We especially encourage applications from less well-represented communities, such as East Los Angeles, South Central/South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, and the Antelope, San Fernando, and San Gabriel Valleys.
What We Provide
This is about more than funding – it’s about relationships and building generational wealth. Each of our selected companies will receive:
- $25,000 in non-dilutive funding
- 3 months of intensive training
- 1:1 advising and ongoing support
What Our Founders Say
2021 Pilot Cohort – South Los Angeles
Thanks to Our Inaugural Sponsors
Core Partners – $50,000+
Series “C” Champions – $10,000+
Series “B” Backers – $5,000+
“Series A” Advocates – $2,500+
Angel Sponsors – $1,000+
Kate Edwards & Joey Serxner
Support the Fund
Join us by making a tax-deductible donation in support of the Fund — every dollar donated goes directly into the hands of our founders.
Founders: Complete our interest form below to get notified when our application launches in March 2022.
2021-22 Fund Sponsors
Core Partners – $50,000+
2022 Program Timeline
Training Begins, Funding Disbursed
This program is intended for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs that have faced gaps in access to capital. While applications are welcome from every LA County community, we may give additional consideration to businesses operating in economically disadvantaged communities.
The economic impacts of COVID-19 have had a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx communities, already facing generations of systemic under-investment. In LA, only 8% of venture capital investments go to Latinx founders, and only 12% go to Black founders. In our nation’s largest county with such a wealth of diverse talent, we know we can do better.
The PledgeLA + Grid110 2022 Cohort training will run from July 7 to September 29, 2022. Weekly meetings will take place on either Wednesday mornings or Thursday evenings, depending on the specific needs of the final cohort. At this time, we are planning to host training sessions virtually. We’ll update this as the safety recommendations for COVID-19 continue to evolve.
Each week of training consists of 2 hours of facilitated sessions (required), plus additional time for office hours (highly recommended). This makes for a weekly commitment of about 2-4 hours. Like anything, you get what you put in. This program is designed to allow you to focus on running the day to day operations of your business, while layering in support where needed to help you meet key milestones.
With the exception of non-profit organizations, we welcome applications from any field, sector, or industry. Knowledge and skills taught and reviewed during the program are applicable and transferable to ideas from all sectors & industries. While most businesses are tech enabled and we look for innovative ideas, you do not necessarily need to be a “tech company” to be considered. We’re open to companies across a wide range of products/services: SaaS, mobile apps, e-commerce, CPG, food, social enterprises, fashion, B2B software, health/wellness, AI, sports, beauty.
We do look for companies that have at least an MVP (an early product that customers can use) with evidence of traction (users, revenue, or funding). Additionally, companies should not have raised more than $250,000 from any source prior to applying. The majority of companies selected for the program will be live with their product or service, but we will make exceptions for promising products/ founders. The founder/co-founders should be prepared to work full time on their venture.
Mentors and advisors come from PledgeLA’s network of tech companies and venture capital firms. Each company will be matched with mentors relevant to their specific needs.
Because this program is focused on founders, only the founder and one additional co-founder are invited to participate in the weekly cohort programming. If your team has more than two members, please contact [email protected] for more information.