ConnectUP! Institute is dedicated to addressing and minimizing those disparities for business founders to build an equitable entrepreneur ecosystem.
Statistics indicate that women claimed just 2% of the VC funds, and women of color claimed just under 1% in 2021.
Black startup entrepreneurs still received only a tiny fraction — 1.2 percent — of the record $147 billion in venture capital invested in U.S. startups through the first half of this year, Crunchbase numbers show. That compares with the more than 13 percent of the U.S. population that is Black or African American. (Crunchbase, 2021)
In a 2019 study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York it was noted that only 17% of firms with non-Hispanic Black ownership reported their funding needs were satisfied.
29.4% of BIPOC business owners receive all the funding they request from the bank compared to 54.2% of that of white business owners.
We know that the disparities faced by BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+ and rural Minnesotans are exasperated when starting a business, seeking funding and accessing business support.
We know that the disparities faced by BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+ and rural Minnesotans are exasperated when starting a business, seeking funding and accessing business support. ConnectUP! Institute is dedicated to addressing and minimizing those disparities for business founders to build an equitable entrepreneur ecosystem. We partner with local organizations like Neighborhood Development Center, Mni Sota Fund, LaunchMN, Forge North and Finnovation Labs to provide culturally responsive education for second-stage businesses. At the same time, we’re developing innovative solutions to solve the systemic challenges to entrepreneur growth by partnering with MN Black Business Support Collective (BBSC), Business Resource Collective (BRC) and Black Innovation Alliance (BIA).
The ConnectUP! Summit brings together entrepreneurs, investors and entrepreneur support organization leaders from Minnesota and across the country for two days of culturally responsive talks, action-driven workshops, deep-relationship building and diverse networking opportunities. With an emphasis on entrepreneur needs and realities, the ConnectUP! Summit provides education and connection for investors ready to #LevelUp their investments!
Our CEO Circles equip second-stage CEOs with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles of surviving in the market space, maintaining good business practices, and scaling up. Twice a month Expert Mentors (investors, entrepreneur support organizations, business professionals, etc.) will be joined by four 2nd-stage CEOs to work through issues they may be facing. These topic-specific meetings are also a space for Expert Mentors to learn the current scope of needs for small businesses founders. Submit an interest form to be considered!