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Black entrepreneurs benefit from investment and inspiration in new technology incubators

New tech incubators are bringing investment and inspiration to Black entrepreneurs in Canada. The DMZ, a tech company incubator at Toronto Metropolitan University, recently held a pitch contest as part of its Black Innovation Summit, offering $20,000 in funding and support to Black-owned tech startups. Other incubator programs, such as Innovate Calgary and the Black Business Ventures Association, have also launched initiatives to support Black tech founders.

Access to capital and a lack of advisors or business networks have historically held Black business owners back in all sectors, according to surveys by the government and the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce. Incubator programs are essential in nurturing and growing Black-owned tech companies, helping them hone their ideas, find mentors, and connect with investors, says Tina Mbachu, a senior program leader with DMZ’s Black Innovation Programs.

Such programs not only offer structured help with business development but also provide a sense of community for founders who may have previously felt isolated. By bringing Black entrepreneurs together, they can share life stories, challenges, and solutions, fostering a supportive environment where they can thrive.

Investment remains a significant issue for many Black-owned businesses. While the Black Lives Matter movement has raised the profile of Black businesses, recent reports indicate that Black entrepreneurs face a greater challenge than other groups in raising money. Venture investment dropped by 45% for Black entrepreneurs in 2022, while Crunchbase reports that Black founders received less than 1.3% of US venture funding between 2017 and 2021, even in a record year for venture capital overall.

Investment programs such as the Black Opportunity Fund (BOF) were created to help Black business owners in Canada raise money and address the inequity in accessing capital. The BOF also supports mentorship and incubator programs in partnership with the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce. The University of Toronto also launched the Black Founders Network to provide mentorship and sponsorship for Black student founders across all industries and stages.

In conclusion, these new tech incubators are leveling the playing field for Black entrepreneurs in Canada. While investment remains a significant hurdle, these programs are offering much-needed support, investment, and inspiration to help Black-owned tech companies thrive.

– A recent report by Digital Finance Institute found that Black women entrepreneurs face additional barriers beyond those faced by other women and minority entrepreneurs.
– Despite a growing number of Black-owned businesses in Canada, most remain small with fewer than four employees and less than $100,000 in annual sales.

– Tech incubators are bringing investment, support, and a sense of community to Black entrepreneurs in Canada, who have historically faced greater challenges than other groups in raising money and accessing advisors and business networks.
– Investment programs such as the Black Opportunity Fund and the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce support mentorship and incubator programs to help Black-owned tech companies grow and thrive.

– CBC News. (April 23, 2022). New Tech Incubators Bring Investment, Inspiration to Black Entrepreneurs. Retrieved from

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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