MassChallenge, GK! Fund Create Innovation Pipeline for Startups
Feb 21, 2021
Join Forces Against Racial, Gender Inequities During Pandemic and Beyond
Boston, MA – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, and The GK! Fund, a nonprofit social impact fund, today celebrate Black History Month by announcing a unique partnership to close the race- and gender-wealth gaps.
“It’s our mission to equip all entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and create meaningful change. To serve this mission we must actively create pathways that ensure BIPOC, female and non-binary founders have access to the tools and relationships they need to solve massive challenges,” said Cait Reimers Brumme, Senior Vice President of MassChallenge’s early-stage business. “Through this collaboration we aim to support advancing diverse founders and dismantle systemic racism within the entrepreneur and innovation industry.”
Together, MassChallenge and The GK! Fund will create an innovation pipeline to serve all BIPOC- and women-owned startup companies in Massachusetts certified by the state’s Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO).
“As we enter Black History Month after a year of trauma and tragedy due to the pandemic and systemic racial inequities, our partnership brings beacons of hope to marginalized small businesses and entrepreneurs across Massachusetts,’’ GK! Fund co-founder Colette Phillips said. “Our mission is to break down social and economic challenges that threaten the success of BIPOC- and women-owned firms and allow them to rise.”
Both organizations help BIPOC- and women-owned small businesses and startups to overcome structural barriers and disparities resulting from a lack of access to capital, limited exposure to investors, and scarce resources to invest in marketing or technology.
By working together, MassChallenge and GK! Fund Inc. will also help startups’ BIPOC and women founders to meet and network with corporate sponsors of both organizations. This accelerator/racial equity nonprofit partnership will focus on additional opportunities for underserved groups to pursue the many benefits offered through the MassChallenge accelerator program plus The GK! Fund and its parent, the multicultural professional network Get Konnected!
MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,400 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $6.2B in funding, generated more than $3B in revenue, and created more than 157,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org. More about MassChallenge’s commitment to lead the way in building inclusive communities that support founders of all backgrounds and industries, from anywhere in the world, is available here.
About GK! Fund
The GK! Fund is a nonprofit social impact fund founded in 2020 by Colette Phillips, Andre Porter and Michael Benezra with the goal of closing the racial and gender technology gap for BIPOC entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is one of several new initiatives under the Get Konnected! network devoted to raising the doors to financial and economic success for marginalized individuals with a special focus on the Black, Brown and/or women populations.