Image Source: ELEV8 Ventures

Black Innovation’s Frontline: ELEV8 Ventures Is Growing The Entrepreneurial Accelerator System

By CultureBanx Team

  • ELEV8 Ventures, founded by Tunji Fiadora, is innovating the startup accelerator ecosystem to help companies build, grow and create the future
  • There is a growing opportunity of $290B to enhance overall wealth by attaining revenue parity between Black and white-owned businesses

The startup ecosystem is experiencing a vivid transformation and ELEV8 Ventures, founded by Tunji Fiadora, is operating at the forefront of this movement. Accelerators are pivotal platforms providing Black entrepreneurs with the necessary capital, network expansion, and resource augmentation to thrive in an often challenging business environment. Especially, when you consider that less than 2% of the $31 billion held by venture capital funds has been allocated to startups with diverse leaders.

Why This Matters: With an increased emphasis on how diversity and inclusivity are reshaping the entrepreneurial landscape, there has been growing recognition of the importance of startup accelerators in the growth and success of Black-owned businesses. Specifically, Black-owned startups often spur innovation in their respective sectors. They bring unique perspectives and solutions to the table, contributing to the overall dynamism and competitiveness of the economy.

Fiadora is at the forefront when it comes to dynamic accelerators and explained the uniqueness and necessity of the work he’s grinding away at.

CultureBanx: Describe ELEV8 Ventures and the important work you are doing?

Tunji Fiadora: ELEV8 is an entrepreneurial community where startups of all sizes come to build, launch, grow and create the future. We provide assistance, resources and services to help guide startups from idea to launch, and from launch through their appropriate growth stages.

CultureBanx: What is your company’s unique value proposition that makes it stand out from the competition? 

Tunji Fiadora: We believe that great companies start with great founders. We want to give great founders an opportunity to thrive regardless of background or economic status. We are committed to providing the right resources, mentor-ship and environment for founders & startups to develop and thrive in our immediate community and beyond.

Thriving Black-owned businesses are often seen as an essential component to bridge the racial wealth gap in the United States. This gap, as per McKinsey calculations, could potentially cost the economy a staggering $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion annually by 2028. 

The COVID-19 crisis has further strained Black-owned businesses, which could possibly widen this racial wealth disparity. This disparity encompasses a growing opportunity of $290 billion to enhance overall wealth by attaining revenue parity between Black and white-owned businesses.

Figures like these can’t be stated enough to thoroughly highlight the importance of building up a strong ecosystem through organizations like the Black Innovation Alliance (BIA) to support founders like Fiadora as he scales ELEV8 Ventures.

CultureBanx: How has the Black Innovation Alliance  supported your personal and professional journey?

Tunji Fiadora: BIA has given me a community of other Entrepreneurial Support Organizations supporting people of color across the nation.

Black entrepreneurs, unfortunately, face a unique set of challenges that can often impede their progress and success. These challenges can broadly be categorized into four types: economic barriers, market barriers, sociocultural barriers, and institutional barriers. These things are not lost on Fiadora, and in fact were a catalyst for creating his platform.

CultureBanx: What inspired you to start your business?

Tunji Fiadora: The need for resources for those in the community that wanted to start their entrepreneurial journey.

As he continues to grow ELEV8 Ventures nationally, he took some time to reflect on what they’ve already been able to accomplish so far.

CultureBanx: Are there any milestones you have achieved that you would  like to share?

Tunji Fiadora: Ran programming in Florida and Texas for founders, launched a pre accelerator program.

CultureBanx: What’s next for your company that we should be on the lookout for?

Tunji Fiadora: The launch of our venture studio and new startups coming out of our studio.

Situational Awareness: There’s no denying the critical role of startup accelerators in promoting the growth and success of Black-owned businesses. Companies like Fiadora’s are helping to connect entrepreneurs to much-needed capital, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Ultimately, these accelerators are helping Black entrepreneurs overcome systemic barriers and thrive in the business world. 

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***UrbanGeekz and CultureBanx’s “Black Innovations’ Frontline” is an exciting first-of-its-kind series showcasing Black Innovation Alliance member organizations. The Q&A series will highlight the founder’s impact across the entrepreneurial landscape in the United States through a unique culturally attuned lens.

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