Sponsored Content from JPMorgan Chase

One of the nation’s premier startup accelerators is expanding into Houston, offering help to entrepreneurs of color grow their own companies, create jobs and expand economic mobility.

For each member company, Austin-based DivInc provides more than $100,000 value in entrepreneur education and support programming, hundreds of hours of executive mentorship, and life-time access to its community and network, all at no cost to founders.  Houston is the first expansion city for the non-profit, whose name means Diversity Incorporated.

The Houston expansion is supported with a $250,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, a longtime supporter of DivInc’s operations in Austin. The investment by Chase enabled DivInc to begin hiring with competitive salaries – paramount for nonprofit organizations to thrive.

“We have supported and seen first-hand the impactful work of DivInc in Austin,” said Carolyn Watson, head of philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Houston and Central Texas. “Theirs is a powerful model of support for entrepreneurs of color, helping them to accelerate growth and expand their business networks. “We are convinced DivInc will make an important contribution to Houston’s economic vitality.”

DivInc Houston’s first accelerator program is also now accepting applications for its spring 2021 accelerator, focused on innovative solutions that can leverage 5G technology, like IoT, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, enterprise software, Ecommerce and much more.

“DivInc is about broadening the startup ecosystem by making it more authentically diverse, equitable and inclusive of underrepresented entrepreneurs,” says Preston James, CEO at DivInc. “When we, as a community, do this successfully, we optimize our opportunities for economic GDP growth, we can help reduce racial/gender wealth divide, and drive greater innovation.” 

Verizon also is supporting the expansion with a $175,000 grant to provide non-dilutive seed funding to each participating company. This is the first time DivInc will be able to offer seed funding to participants directly. In addition, Verizon will provide technical expertise regarding next generation technology such as 5G and mentorship to participating companies.

Strategic partner, The Ion, is DivInc Houston’s headquartersthrough 2023 and secured $605K over three years for DivInc to run their world-class programming at the new, nearly 280,000 square foot entrepreneurial space in midtown Houston.

“Houston is sprinting to boost the city’s tech and innovation ecosystem, and DivInc is an organization that will help us take another significant step toward building a global hub for excellence in innovation. Their expansion into Houston and specifically into The Ion aligns with my focus on opportunity, diversity, and inclusivity to move Houston forward. The success of DivInc means more people of color and more women will grow their own companies. That is something we all should celebrate,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. With the expansion into Houston, DivInc welcomes Ashley DeWalt as Managing Director of DivInc Houston and Joy M. Hutton, Program Director for DivInc Houston. With their Houston leadership team in place, DivInc is ready to open its virtual doors.