That Was Fast: Philly Startup Leaders Now Has up to $550K Committed to Fund Underrepresented Founders

As protests against systemic racism took over every state in the country, and in cities across the world in the last few weeks, talks of how race and diversity is handled within the tech community highlighted the fact that there’s often fewer funding opportunities for entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.

It’s not a new issue to Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) Executive Director Kiera Smalls, who works with founders every day.

Earlier this month, Smalls tweeted that she’d love to see a fund (not an investment) opportunity for entrepreneurs to build tech companies in Philadelphia. She called out that earlier this year, the City of Philadelphia had given the org $150,000 to be shared among entrepreneurs in PSL’s Founded in Philly accelerator program.

But the goal was to ensure it wasn’t a one-time thing, she told And with the City facing some serious budget cuts due to extra coronavirus expenses, the money would likely have to come from somewhere else. In a letter to CEOs and founders of Philly tech about dismantling racism within the community, Smalls outlined these hopes for funding.

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