Although not an obvious fact, only a small percentage of venture capitalists or company founders come from a minority background. For example, a CB inside report stated that on a national level, only 1% of internet company founders were African-American. This may very well be the case due to the lack of programs or support systems for such endeavors. Angela Benton, Black Web 2.0 founder, stated that getting minority-led tech start-ups connected and, ultimately, funded is a major problem. The NewMe minority accelerator program for start-up companies responded to this problem by hosting a summer long convention by inviting start-up companies founded by women and minorities and uniting them with them with the right connections and professional mentors in the Silicon Valley.
Among the NewMe advisors were the newly turned technophile, MC Hammer, Charles Hudson of SoftTech, and head executives from organizations such as Foursquare Inc. and Twitter Inc. The summer long event included developmental mentorship from internet elite, private weekly dinners with business elite, a co-working atmosphere for start-ups and eventually a demo day for the start-up participants to pitch their ideas to influential individuals such as venture capitalists and angle investors.
Out of the eleven start-up companies to debut at the NewMe demo day earlier this month, one particular start-up left its mark on the program and its participants. OneSchool Inc. is a campus specific mobile app for the iphone that enables users to locate bus routes, access a map, discover new food and hangout locations and even converse with other users through a discussion function. It is also relatively easy to download, you simply go to the OneSchool website, select your university and download the app. What is unique and exciting for both OneSchool Inc. as well as the NewMe is that it is the first of NewMe graduates to receive a hefty grant of $100,00. The founder of OneSchool Inc., David Adewumi, as well as his two co-founders will use the money to rent a hacker house and hire a staff of former classmates to assist in coding.
OneSchool Inc. is sure to be only the beginning of many more success stories originating from the NewMe minority accelerator program. Programs such as this are sure to increase the small percentage of venture capitalists and company founders rapidly. If you would like more information on the NewMe programs or other start-up companies that participated in this years convention, please visit http://newmeaccelerator.com/.