MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge Launches Tuition-Free Program to Help Tech Entrepreneurs of Color Succeed

The program, backed by Gaingels, provides founders in the BIPOC community the education and resources needed to launch their startups.

MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge Smart Start Seminar Attendees

MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge (MITEF) announces a program to support early-stage tech entrepreneurs of color at the outset of their startup journey. With financial backing from venture investment syndicate Gaingels, the MITEF program offers founders, who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), tuition-free access to instructor-led learning, mentoring from established entrepreneurs, and peer and service provider networks.

"With over 40 years of experience delivering transformative programming to entrepreneurs, MITEF Cambridge is uniquely positioned to support founders of color," said David McFarlane, tech executive, venture partner and MITEF Cambridge Board Member. "I am proud to make our one-of-its-kind curriculum and large network of expert instructors and mentors available to founders that often don't have access to these resources, providing them with all they need to make their business successful."

Benefits of this program include:

Fast-track consideration for Gaingels acclaimed Spark program.

Tuition-Free Participation in:

  • Start Smart Seminar. A multi-week program established in 2007 that, with the help of experienced entrepreneurs as instructors, has taken 600+ concept, pre-funded, and startup stage founders through the process of defining and/or refining their company's target market, product positioning, business model, and go to market strategy.
  • Mentor Program: facilitated access to a network of more than 120 MITEF Cambridge mentors, seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, technology executives, IP and startup attorneys who volunteer their time to our early-stage founders.
  • Startup Spotlight: participation in a high visibility pitch/demo day with a large audience of prospective advisors, strategic partners, investors, press contacts and team members.

Lorenzo Thione, Managing Director Gaingels, commented: "Gaingels seeks to have a measurable impact in fostering social progress across the venture ecosystem. We're excited to support this MITEF program because the BIPOC founders in the program will receive the world-class coaching and mentoring they need to move their ventures forward. This aligns perfectly with our values of diversity, inclusion, representation and visibility for underrepresented entrepreneurs."

Applications are open for BIPOC founders to be considered for the Start Smart Seminar that begins on Feb. 22, 2021, the Spring 2021 Mentor Program Cohort, and the June 2021 Startup Spotlight. Applications are due Feb. 17 and applications for the next cohort will open shortly after.

Sponsorship opportunities to support this initiative are available; to learn more, please contact Katja Wald,

- ENDS -

About MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge

Established in 1978, the MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge is one of the oldest entrepreneurial-support organizations in the world. We've informed, connected and coached thousands of technology entrepreneurs in our 40-plus year history, enabling them to transform their ideas into successful companies. We are a global network of local organizations, inspired by MIT, and open to the world. Visit: 

Katja Wald
Executive Director
MITEF Cambridge
(617) 253-8238

Source: MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge


Categories: Entrepreneurship

Tags: bipoc, diversity, entrepreneurship, inclusivity, massachusetts, startups