Aiming to break barriers for Tech startups founded by underrepresented founders, Unconventional Ventures has just announced their first-ever Nordic digital-only accelerator for entrepreneurs in the Nordics, Europe and UK.
By SWB Team
Nordic VC Unconventional Ventures and Backstage Capital are joining forces to help accelerate opportunities for diverse startups. Unconventional Ventures is launching a first ever Nordic digital only accelerator to further amplify and support the best companies led by underestimated founders in an equity free program. Through an 8-week digital program for diverse founders in the Nordics, they aim to help up to 100 founders to reach their next critical milestone, together with a team of experienced investors, experts and mentors.
“Backstage Capital has unique experiences and insights in supporting underrepresented founders and having them supporting us brings incredible value to the founders that will benefit from this. Existing accelerator programs have shaped the narrative around what it means to be a successful early-stage company, but they haven’t been inclusive,” says Nora Bavey, GP at Unconventional Ventures.
She adds: “We want to make sure we are supporting underrepresented founders in the Nordics that are both affected by the current pandemic and the continued lack of support. Capital is still the important thing and we’re doing that the conventional way by raising funds. At the same time, we’re now also making sure we’re supporting founders in several ways, that are building impactful businesses that will create the sustainable future we all want to be part of.”
“We want to make sure we are supporting underrepresented founders in the Nordics that are both affected by the current pandemic and the continued lack of support.” – Nora Bavey.
Applications to the 8-week program, called The Unconventional Accelerator, opened on 12th January. The program starts in April and consists of digital content that’s accessible for founders, adapting the curriculum to the founders needs, including industry experts and experienced mentors to support.
The program is free for participation, so founders do not have to give up any equity to participate, it is fully flexible and remote.
Together with partners from the Nordics, they’re focusing on early stage companies founded by underrepresented founders, meaning women, POC and LGTBQ+, building impact tech companies.The program is free for participation, so founders do not have to give up any equity to participate, it is fully flexible and remote, making it easy for founders to fit this into their daily schedule and timeplan. Backstage has furthermore arranged accelerators both in the US and UK.
“We have seen how the Nordic tech ecosystem— including its funding landscape—has impressively evolved and developed over the past few years. However, just like the industry is challenged on inclusivity in the US and UK, we can see that there is a unique opportunity to level the playing field for underrepresented, underestimated founders in the Nordics and remove structural barriers for these founders,” says Arlan Hamilton, Founder Backstage Capital.
“We look forward to supporting these exceptional founders who we know exist, and we’re excited to support Unconventional Ventures in their work,” adds Arlan, who is also a public figure, author of the book It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into your Greatest Advantage.
“Just like the industry is challenged on inclusivity in the US and UK, we can see that there is a unique opportunity to level the playing field for underrepresented, underestimated founders in the Nordics.” – Arlan Hamilton.
“At Unconventional Ventures our mission has always been to unleash the potential of the underrepresented and under-ventured founders. Firstly, through backing with catalytic and smart capital that in itself is inclusive. With this set-up we are expanding to also support those founders who have just, or are about to embark their startup journey. We know how important it is to get the right type of support from the beginning, especially before you take on your first investment,” says Thea Messel, GP Unconventional Ventures.
We have learned from our work that there is a need for a structure that gives these founders an equal opportunity to a program that is of high quality, flexible and inclusive – for and by underrepresented founders. We will be teaming up with corporate, governmental and private stakeholders who like us want to see change for the better in the startup world and we are thrilled to have Backstage Capital’s support as our launching partner in this where they bring incredible knowledge and value,” she adds.
Find out about the Unconventional Accelerator here.