New programme offers investment to underrepresented founders

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

A new scheme was launched today aiming to accelerate the growth of London's top underrepresented founders.

The Pioneer Programme is intended to ready founders for seed investment, and consists of a series of workshops culminating in a pitch event.

It is a project from OneTech, an initiative for underrepresented founders, and has received financial support from JP Morgan.

Some 15 founders have been selected for the programme, all of whom come from underrepresented communities.

Investment rounds of between £300,000 and £1.5 million will be available to successful participants, and the scheme says that 50 per cent of founders raise funds within three months.

Commenting on the launch, OneTech head of delivery Emma Joy Obanye said: “In the UK, for every £1 of venture capital investment, less than 1p goes to all-female led teams. Meanwhile, of all funds raised by European VC-backed companies in 2018, a staggering 93% went to all-male founding teams.

“Furthermore, underrepresented communities, including those that live, work and study in the London boroughs, where London tech startups cluster, are missing out. This has to change. This is why we along with J.P. Morgan needed to launch the Pioneer Programme”.

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