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.
That’s why we launched the Fund for South LA Founders – with help from our members, we’re raising $500,000 in non-equity funding for Black and Latinx-led businesses.
What We’re Doing
This is about more than funding – it’s about relationships and growth. To help take their businesses to the next level, we’ll select 20 companies to be part of the new PledgeLA + Grid110 Winter Cohort, where each will receive:
Who We’re Looking For
Identity: One or more co-founders should identify as a member of the Black and/or Latinx communities.
South LA Connection: We’re looking for businesses with a clear connection to South Los Angeles and neighboring communities.
Businesses: This program is for for-profit businesses and social enterprises. We cannot accept applications from 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
Funding Stage: Businesses should have received less than $250,000 in total funding from any source (investments, loans, grants, etc.).
Key Program Dates
Join an info-session or workshop to prepare before applying:
Founders and businesses should have a clear connection to South LA (AKA South Central) and adjoining neighborhoods and cities, such as Inglewood, Compton, South Gate, etc.
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 6% of venture capital investments go to Latinx founders, and only 7% go to Black founders. In our nation’s largest county with such a wealth of diverse talent, we know we can do better.
Mentors and advisors come from PledgeLA’s network of tech companies and venture capital firms. We’ll be matching each company selected 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.
Below are some of the essay questions we’d like to highlight in our application to help you prepare (3-4 sentences max / 500 characters):
Essay Questions (Required)
Video Component (Optional, but Recommended)
Introduce yourself and your company. What would you want the companies in your cohort to know about you? (2 minutes)
Did you know? Only 6% of investments from LA VCs go to Latinx founders, and only 7% go to Black founders.
Track portfolio diversity and grow your networks. A growing number of VC firms are beginning to track deal flow and the diversity of their portfolio. No firm’s goals will be the same, but what does your portfolio data tell you?