Inclusive Entrepreneurship CBUS Style
Startup Week has been an emotional few days—in a very good way.
As promised, those of us in the entrepreneurial community have been part of a five-day celebration of startups and entrepreneurs. With more than 70 terrific events spanning five days and venues across Columbus, the quality has been head-shaking and heart-stopping.
And now there’s an extra dimension with some exciting announcements.
A lot has been written lately about the lack of inclusion and diversity on the national startup scene—as if it’s new news that Silicon Valley startups are overly homogeneous.
Well, here in Central Ohio, the commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship isn’t new news. For example, 28 percent of Rev1’s 2015 portfolio companies are women and/or minority-led. We are working with organizations including <BLK Hack>, whose mission it is to fill the deficit of black minorities in the technical field, and with WELD, an organization committed to advancing women’s leadership and business growth.
And as of today, we are introduced a new partnership with Bunker Labs, a national network of entrepreneurs founded by military veterans to help other veterans start and grow businesses.
This morning, JPMorgan Chase announced a $1.5MM national grant to support the expansion (to multiple cities) of Bunker Labs, Rev1, the first site named, has been selected as the Columbus home to Bunker Labs.
JPMorgan Chase chose Columbus and Rev1 because we are serious about expanding inclusion and diversity. We know it’s the right thing. We know it’s the smart thing, and we’re walking the talk.
In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be sharing a lot more detail about Bunker Labs. This remarkable initiative has already helped veteran-owned small businesses raise more than $16MM in funding and generate nearly $56MM in revenue.
There’s plenty of work yet to do to fully realize the full potential and opportunity of inclusive entrepreneurship in Central Ohio. We’re talking, measuring, committed and accountable.