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Q&A: Bjorn Simmons Breaks Down Hillman Accelerator

BIT is always looking for programs that align with our mission to make tech careers accessible for everyone. Hillman Accelerator is doing just that by changing the game for startups founded by women and people of color. Read our interview with Managing Director Bjorn Simmons to learn how you and your startup can benefit from participating in the Hillman Accelerator.


What prompted Hillman to create this accelerator program with women and founders of color in mind?

Hillman was created in response to the lack of capital and focused support to help scale startups founded by women and people of color. Less than 1% of all venture capital goes into companies founded by African Americans or latinx and less than 3% of VC dollars are invested into female founders. To date, there are only 16 African American female founders who’ve raised over $1M.

Blacks In Technology is comprised of people in all sectors of tech, from design to robotics and beyond. Is there a tech vertical that’s best suited for Hillman Accelerator?
No, Hillman is industry agnostic but the best candidates solve big problems with a market opportunity over $100M. We have corporate partners along with venture capitalist with a vested interest the success of our cohorts.

What characteristics make up the ideal participant?
Hillman is looking for companies ready to scale. These startups have built an MVP, are demonstrating demand, have customers or generating some revenue, or have raised some capital (angel, preseed, seed). Hillman is founder focused so we are looking for founders who are ready to execute.

Let’s say that I’m new to the tech cofounder space. Should I apply to Hillman Accelerator?
It’s always good to apply so that you get on our radar. We are looking for later stage startups who have a product and are ready to grow in the market.

After applying to Hillman Accelerator, you ask that applicants sign up for office hours. Tell us more.
Office Hours are one- on- one sessions with the Hillman team. This gives startups the opportunity to get someone on one time with the Hillman team and ask questions about the program. With so many applications coming in (250+), Hillman Office Hours are a great way to get some additional exposure before selection begins.

What skills and experiences can participants look forward to?
Hillman mentors are experienced in launching, scaling, and exiting startups. Participants can look forward to building their network of investors, corporate professionals and other c-suite executives and founders. They can also look forward to intense sales and funding strategy sessions as we dive deep in identifying opportunities for them to scale.

Lastly, what can participants who aren’t familiar with Cincinnati look forward to during the Hillman program?
To be immersed in the #StartupCincy Ecosystem.

Learn more about the Hillman Accelerator here at their website or apply to the program today!

Source link : Blacksintechnology

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