Notley Invests in DivInc Accelerator for Women and People of Color

Austin—DivInc, a nonprofit business accelerator for women and people of color, has received a philanthropic investment from Notley Ventures to expand its accelerator program.

DivInc also announced a partnership with Notley that will let the accelerator use services that Notley offers organizations it works with, including finance, operations, marketing, and fundraising. DivInc plans to move into Relay Coworking, which is at Notley’s Center for Social Innovation, a real estate development for nonprofits and businesses focused on socially positive innovation. A wide range of organizations are associated with the center, including Latinitas, which aims to encourage women to innovate in media and technology, Huston-Tillotson University, and various communications and legal firms.

Notley’s goal is to “scale and support businesses, nonprofits, individuals, and programs making positive change in the world” through various events and initiatives, such as the Center for Social Innovation. Notley was founded in 2015 by Lisa and Dan Graham. Dan is known for his work as CEO and, later, executive chairman, of BuildASign.com. The investment in DivInc is structured as a large cash donation, and Notley is also donating rent and services from its team, according to a spokesperson. The amount wasn’t disclosed.

DivInc runs a 12-week program that’s focused on market fit and growth. Participants get a wide range of benefits, from advice on sales and financial operations to legal services and web hosting credits. The accelerator doesn’t take an equity stake and hasn’t charged a fee for the program, though it is considering adding a small fee to cover a portion of the startups’ costs, which it will determine before April, according to the spokesperson. Applicants must be a tech or tech-enabled, and spend 30 to 40 hours a week working on site, according to the accelerator’s website.

“There are major gaps in economic opportunity for women, people of color and immigrants. These gaps are largely due to an opportunity and empowerment divide in our nation,” DivInc co-founder and CEO Preston James II wrote in a blog post announcing the partnership with Notley. “By building successful high-growth companies, we can disproportionately influence the economic, political and social development of communities nationwide.”

DivInc has already worked with almost 50 entrepreneurs through four classes of startups starting in the fall of 2016. It is taking applications for its next cohort starting in April. DivInc has previously worked closely with Austin co-working space Capital Factory.

DivInc is hosting an award event on March 1 to recognize individuals who work toward making Austin a more inclusive community.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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