Morgan Stanley recently announced the third cohort of the Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for technology and technology-enabled startups in the post–seed to Series B funding rounds.
The program is three years in the making and targets companies with a multicultural or woman founder, co–founder, CTO, or other C-suite member that is developing innovative solutions across sectors.
“This program has seen tremendous success over the past two years, and I am looking forward to helping this next group of founders accelerate their businesses and make significant strides in executing their strategies,” said Carla Harris, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and head of the Multicultural Client Strategy Group. “The Lab’s goal is to provide these founders with additional contributions toward their future success by leveraging our expansive and global networks, resources, and expertise that will hopefully attract the capital needed to scale.”
Over 300 applicants applied globally. 2019 cohort startups include BLUEWAVE Technologies, Care Advisors, Cosynd, Five to Nine, Gappify, Looklive, Mighty Well, ShopJenzy, SmartGurlz, and Taina Technology. The companies span across sectors focusing on health, software development, legal, medical hardware, HR, fintech, fashion, and education.
Morgan Stanley will take an equity percentage in the company in exchange for utilizing its global reach, content, and connections to push growth and address the funding gap for multicultural and women startup founders.
Access to capital alone isn’t sufficient enough to build a successful tech startup. The Lab brings in other elements to help the entrepreneurs grow and scale their companies. William Crowder, formerly head of Comcast Ventures’ Catalyst Fund and now founding partner at 42 Venture Partners, will be returning as its Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Crowder will serve as a strategic advisor to both the entrepreneurs and the Multicultural Client Strategy team throughout the duration of the Lab to help participating companies address and conquer challenges that will increase performance and progress. There will also be additional input from other partners such as Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
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