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.
Why We’re All In for LA
This is about more than funding – it’s about relationships and growth. With support from the PledgeLA community, we’re raising a $500,000 non-equity fund to help founders in the heart of our city take their businesses to the next level.
After receiving more than 200 applications from South LA founders, we’ll be selecting 20 innovative companies to be part of the new PledgeLA + Grid110 Winter Cohort, where each will receive:
Our incredible panel of judges brings diverse experience from tech, philanthropy, venture capital, and social impact. They’ll help us select innovative companies poised to thrive:
Applications for the Fund closed on October 9 at 5PM PST.
Finalists will be invited to virtual interviews during the week of October 26 – 30.
Early November 2020
Training & Funding:
The PledgeLA-Grid110 cohort training will run from January 4 to March 26, 2021. Funding will be disbursed in two installments during this time.
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.).
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)