We’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, and Village Capital, an organization that finds, trains and invests in entrepreneurs solving real-world problems, to launch the VC Pathways program in Atlanta. VC Pathways is a national program that will train and support African American, Latinx and female founders to increase their competitiveness for seed-stage venture investment and early-stage incubator and accelerator programs. Local supporting pipeline partners include the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, ATDC at Georgia Tech, Startup Atlanta, EnrichHer, BuiltxWomen, Atlanta Tech Village, Amplify 4 Good, Venture Atlanta, Village Microfund, Invest Atlanta, Plywood People, and Black Angel Tech Fund.
Goodie Nation will work with UBS and Village Capital to select a cohort of founders to participate in a three-month program that provides entrepreneurs with hands-on training, advice and tailored engagements from local mentors, investors, UBS executives and Financial Advisors who will help their companies become investment-ready.
“VC Pathways is an invaluable extension of UBS’s ongoing commitment to advancing inclusive entrepreneurship,” says Jamie Sears, UBS Head of Community Affairs, Americas. “Many of our clients are entrepreneurs in these cities, so we are excited to be playing a part in strengthening the pipeline of diverse founders and giving startups access to investors, best-in-class training, and other resources that will help their businesses succeed.”
“This is an incredible opportunity to help some of Atlanta’s best startups reach their potential,” says Joey Womack, CEO and Founder of Goodie Nation. “Moving forward, we see VC Pathways as an amazing vehicle to assist Goodie Nation strengthen our curriculum and provide more opportunities through pipeline partners as we march toward creating sustainable social impact startups.”
“There is no shortage of potential among underrepresented founders. They have firsthand experience in solving critical issues faced by the majority of the US population,” says Allie Burns, Managing Director of Village Capital. “What’s lacking is the social capital and tangible resources to scale these solutions. We’re hoping that, through this program, startups will gain exposure to the thought-process behind investment decisions and a framework to use milestones to clearly communicate their growth and success.”
Defining and meeting business milestones is an important indicator of success for high-growth startups. Having a roadmap to demonstrate these to investors is critical to helping founders move away from over-reliance on “friends and family” funding and focus instead on other early-stage investors. To assist with this, the VC Pathways program will provide:
+Guidance through Village Capital’s VIRAL curriculum. Every entrepreneur in the VC Pathways program will receive training on the Venture Investment Readiness Awareness Level (VIRAL) curriculum, which helps entrepreneurs set and surpass specific milestones to make them competitive when raising capital.
+Connections to angel investors. The VC Pathways program will facilitate formal and informal interactions between startups and angel investors and provide access to a Startup Heat Map, which identifies monetary and in-kind resources at every funding level.
+Tangible business support. The program will also provide resources for building a business, including Amazon Web Services (up to $5,000 in credits), access to a Kiva Zip Loan worth up to $10,000, up to $2,000 in grant funding awarded for hitting certain program milestones and network-building opportunities.
Participants in the three-month program will be primarily high-growth businesses that are tech-enabled, pre-seed or seed stage ventures, with an established minimum viable product and have less than $500,000 in revenue or raised funds. Priority will be given to startups solving problems within Village Capital’s five investment areas: Education, Healthcare, Financial Technology, Agriculture and Energy.
We’ll start to implement the VIRAL curriculum with startups in our upcoming Goodie Impact Pre-Accelerator: Hack Cancer + STDs. For more information about the VC Pathways offering and key local program dates, visit: https://vilcap.com/program/vcpathways/.