HOUSTON, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- DivInc, a premier nonprofit organization founded to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the startup ecosystem, today announced a partnership with Mercury, an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Houston, Texas. This partnership will help DivInc empower and educate underrepresented entrepreneurs by lending Mercury's expertise through mentoring, guidance, and workshops to entrepreneurs that participate in DivInc's accelerator program. Additionally, Mercury will provide financial support for the organization and its programs.
"We are excited to establish a mutually beneficial long-term partnership with Mercury with the goal of accelerating equitable access to resources and opportunities, enhance economic mobility, and drive social impact across the startup and venture capital ecosystem in the city of Houston and beyond. Collaborative partnerships like this are essential to generating inclusive innovation," said Preston James, CEO at DivInc.
DivInc works to build a strong pipeline of tech startup companies founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs. With the support of JPMorgan Chase, Verizon and The Ion, it recently expanded its presence to Houston with the goal of helping hundreds more startup founders who are people of color grow their own companies - creating jobs and greatly expanding wealth generation opportunities. For each member company that participates in their accelerator program, DivInc provides entrepreneur education and support programming, hundreds of hours of executive mentorship, and life-time access to its unique culture, community and network, all at no cost to founders. In addition, each participating company receives $10K in non-dilutive grant funding.
Heath Butler, Managing Director at Mercury says, "At Mercury, we believe there is significant untapped talent and resources in the urban communities of Houston and we are committed to playing a role in helping minority entrepreneurs gain the access, knowledge, and resources they need for a successful entrepreneurial journey. Through DivInc, we have direct access to this untapped talent and strongly believe there is a huge economic ROI in investing and empowering these entrepreneurs."
"This unprecedented partnership shows a commitment to the impact we plan to make in the Houston tech ecosystem. We know that together we will empower underrepresented founders, provide visibility to those founders in the current venture capital blind spot, and unlock untapped returns for investors", says Ashley DeWalt, Managing Director at DivInc Houston.
"We are excited for th opportunity for Mercury, along with our Houston community and business partners, to galvanize and rally around this effort in building up Houston's underestimated entrepreneurial ecosystem through the DivInc capital campaign," says Blair Garrou, co-founder and Managing Director at Mercury. "Mercury is committing to funding ten percent of the capital campaign and looks forward to activating our networks to help raise the rest. We feel it is our business and civic responsibility to contribute to the creation of DivInc's essential programming in supporting and funding Houston's next wave of successful entrepreneurs."
DivInc Houston recently announced its spring 2021 accelerator program with support from program title sponsor Verizon. This inaugural cohort includes 10 companies focused on innovation in the Houston and Texas market. Read about each company in DivInc's blog post.
About DivInc DivInc is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on championing diversity, equity and inclusion in the startup ecosystem by fostering the growth and development of underrepresented founders. DivInc offers programs including a 12-week accelerator for early-stage startups and builds partnerships with local government and non-government entities to drive systemic change. Founded in 2016, DivInc is headquartered in Austin, TX with the second location in Houston that opened in spring 2021. Learn more at https://www.divinc.org/.
About Mercury Fund
Mercury Fund is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Houston, Texas. With over $300 million under management, Mercury invests in entrepreneurs and innovation across Middle America. Our investment themes focus on SaaS, Cloud, and Data Science/AI platforms enabling the digital transformation of markets and industries. Learn more at www.mercuryfund.com.