National accelerator supports entrepreneurs of color + women with $40k capital, connections, and coaching
NEW ORLEANS – Today, national accelerator Camelback Ventures officially welcomed its 2021 Education and Conscious Tech Fellows as part of its rigorous fellowship supporting entrepreneurs of color and women leading innovative social impact ventures. These founders are tackling pressing issues across the United States including systemic racism, education inequities, accessibility to civic participation, student career readiness as well as health and wellness. This year’s 15-week fellowship kicks off in August and will remain fully virtual due to the pandemic.
Camelback Ventures identifies local leaders with promising ideas, and assists them to enact change within their communities through initiatives that provide an intentional blend of coaching, capital, connections, community, and curriculum. Over 90% of Camelback’s founders identify as people of color and 60% as women. The 2021 cohort proudly joins 83 Fellows (and growing) who are part of the #CamelbackFam. Fellows receive up to $40,000 in unrestricted funding from Camelback to support their ventures.
“Too often, the entrepreneurial space around social impact generates ‘solutions’ pointed at communities of color without solving for the lack of opportunities in those same communities to allow for them to lead, innovate, and build. This is why Camelback Ventures exists today,” said Aaron T. Walker, Camelback Ventures CEO and Founder. “We believe and trust that entrepreneurs of color and women have solutions to their own problems and now more than ever, we have a responsibility to invest in their genius in order to ensure an equitable post-pandemic recovery.”
View the full list of 2021 Camelback Fellows below and check out the welcome blog!
Conscious Tech Fellows
Beverly Leon, founder of Local Civics (New York, New York)
D’Seanté Parks, founder of 1000 MORE (New York, New York)
Devshi Mehrotra, founder of JusticeText (Irvine, California)
Gabriella Wong, founder of AccesSOS (San Francisco, California)
Jaime-Jin Lewis, founder of Wiggle Room (New York, New York)
Jakita Thomas, founder of Pharaoh’s Conclave (Atlanta, Georgia)
Jonathan Santos Silva, founder of The Liber Institute (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Joyelle Naomi, founder of Denver Independent School (Denver, Colorado)
Lisa María Rhodes, founder of ALAS (New Orleans & Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Marshall Pollard, founder of The Creative School (Washington, DC)
Shawon Jackson, founder of Vocal Justice (Stanford, California)
“When I look at our incoming 2021 Fellows I am reminded of the generations before us. I am reminded of their genius that lifted our communities, but the opportunity to expand their impact had its limitations. Our 2021 Fellows are rewriting this script and are breaking down barriers so that their work aims to promote wealth for future generations within BIPOC communities,” said Karolina Villagrana, Camelback Fellowship, Senior Lead of Education. “It is an honor to be a partner on our Fellows’ journey and I look forward to seeing how they will continue to challenge what it means to be an entrepreneur.”
Learn more about the Camelback Ventures Fellowship and meet our past fellows.
Since its inception, Camelback Ventures has provided more than $4-million of seed funding to emerging entrepreneurs across the country. The 2021 Camelback Fellowship is supported by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Kenan Charitable Trust, Margulf Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation.
“This application cycle, we met hundreds of qualified social entrepreneurs who are changing the game in education and technology. It was inspiring to get to know them throughout the process. Ultimately, I’m incredibly proud of the eleven founders selected as Fellows and am excited for their contributions to the #CamelbackFam,” said Caroline Lutkewitte, Camelback Ventures Manager of Search + Align.
ABOUT CAMELBACK VENTURES:
Camelback Ventures increases access to opportunity for entrepreneurs of color and women by investing in their ventures and leadership while advocating for fairness in their funding. By seeking solutions in the genius of undervalued entrepreneurs of color, Camelback’s vision is to create livable communities and wealth for future generations to inherit. For more information, visit www.camelbackventures.org.