Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, this new program aims to provide underserved entrepreneurs with resources and knowledge to build their businesses, customized to their stage of growth
Cambridge, Mass. – Today, CIC, a global leader in building and operating innovation ecosystems for venture-backed startups in whom $17B has been invested to date, announced it is accepting applications for its new Massachusetts Social Impact Cohort. This special initiative is made possible by the Capital Readiness Program grant awarded by the Biden-Harris Administration, in which CIC was the only Massachusetts company selected to receive funds.
Through this grant, CIC is leveraging its expertise supporting the world’s top entrepreneurs to offer a unique opportunity for small organizations led by historically underserved entrepreneurs, including BIPOC, female, and veteran visionaries, to shape the future of business in fields ranging from AI and robotics to life sciences, sustainability, and beyond.
Applications will be open from October 30 through December 8, 2023. The selected cohort will be announced at the end of January 2024 and will run for six months starting February 12, 2024. Ideal candidates, who should consider applying, should:
- Be small organizations founded by historically underserved entrepreneurs, including but not limited to: BIPOC, female, and/or veteran
- Be in the growth stages (approximately seed – Series A)
- Have their business based in Massachusetts or the Greater Boston area
Companies selected to join CIC’s Massachusetts Social Impact Cohort will receive complimentary access to work at one of CIC’s local innovation campuses—an environment that encourages collaboration, learning opportunities, and interaction. Through the program, participants will also receive access to regular programming through CIC and local partners, educational and networking opportunities, one-to-one mentorship and introductions to potential capital investors.
“We are thrilled to launch our latest social impact initiative to support businesses that are often underrepresented in the corporate world,” said Stacey Messier, CIC General Manager, New England. “CIC is uniquely positioned to support participants with access to our global network of entrepreneurs and innovators, while also connecting them with the local innovation ecosystem. Participants will glean curated, foundational knowledge they will need to build their businesses, tailored to their individual stage of growth.”
Vice President Harris announced the recommended awardees for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Capital Readiness Program in August 2023. It is a $125 million technical assistance program from The White House to help underserved entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses. Awardees, like CIC, are launching and operating business incubators or accelerators designed to prepare underserved entrepreneurs to secure capital from the historic $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and other capital sources.
This Massachusetts Social Impact Cohort is an extension of CIC’s ongoing Social Impact Program, through which it has been operating Social Impact Cohorts at its U.S. innovation campuses since 2017. Currently, CIC Philadelphia’s 2023 cohort is composed of 13 members spanning tech nonprofits, life science startups, VC firms and more. In St. Louis, through this year’s cohort, seven burgeoning organizations are tackling social and environmental issues in the community.
To learn more about CIC’s Social Impact Program, visit our website.
CIC builds and operates a global network of innovation campuses where startups, scale-ups, corporations and public entities connect, work, and grow. Founded in 1999, CIC manages more than 1 million square feet of innovation-focused workspace, laboratories, and event space across North America, Europe and Asia. Additionally, CIC develops innovation-related programming, builds and enables industry clusters, and provides world-class innovation consulting.
This press release was prepared by CIC using Federal funds under award MB23OBD0340313 from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) or the U.S. Department of Commerce.