Barclays Eagle Labs has announced the launch of its second, 12-week virtual accelerator programme.
The programme is designed to help early-stage tech startups founded by one or more black entrepreneurs to continue to help boost diversity in the tech sector.
Barclays worked on the accelerator partnership with Foundervine, which includes a series of specialist-led masterclasses focused on a number of core business skills.
These skills include sales strategy, operations, product development and leadership. The founders will be mentored by and receive professional coaching from scale-up experts.
Applications are now open for the Accelerator, which will run until the 8th October, to UK-based digital and tech start or scale-ups with a “minimum viable proposition for their business and with one or more black founders,” Barclays said.
Commenting on the news, Liz Boadi, Ecosystem Manager at Barclays Eagle Labs and the 2021 programme lead, said: “After the success of the 2020 Black Founder Accelerator, we knew we had to run another accelerator and open it out to more founders.
“The feedback we received from last year’s cohort was amazing and we want to build on that and help even more black entrepreneurs this year.
“We hope by giving the founders access to the knowledge and expertise we can help accelerate their growth and unlock the potential that we know is waiting.”
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So far, more than 200 firms have applied for the 2021 Accelerator, with 25 successful firms being selected. This year, the cohort will increase in size, with 40 businesses to be selected to participate in the programme.
Barclays Eagle Labs said: “All applicants to the Black Founders Accelerator programme, whether they are successful at securing a space on the Accelerator or not, will receive ongoing support from Barclays Eagle Labs, through events, wider programmes, learning materials, mentoring and by building peer networks.”
Izzy Obeng, Managing Director of Foundervine, added: “Foundervine are proud to be partnering with Barclays for a second year. The Barclays Black Founder Accelerator is designed to elevate founders and remove barriers.
“We do this by connecting them to the mentorship, resources and training they need to move their venture to the next level. Whether that’s raising their first round of funding or making their first sale, the Foundervine network is here to make that happen.”
The Accelerator begins on the 22nd of November and will last 12 weeks, ending with a ‘Demo Day’ in February 2022. The day will be a chance for several founders to present their business to potential clients and investors.
In addition, through the programme, participants will gain access to the UK-wide Eagle Labs network and access to community events through Barclays Eagle Labs.