VentureHue Access Lab is an initiative created to provide support to underserved, overlooked, and diverse entrepreneurs who have a limited network and lack of access to capital. The program is a 6-week (virtual) capital readiness accelerator designed to help entrepreneurs improve their knowledge of raising capital, expand their network, and make connections that will result in them obtaining the funding needed to scale their businesses.
Our program curriculum is designed to educate entrepreneurs how to best position their business to raise capital. Here’s a short breakdown:
- Know What Funders Want – We’ll take a deep dive into key factors that funders (of all types) pay attention to determine if a company is worthy of investment.
- Understanding the Capital Structure – We’ll cover the types of capital available at all stages of business development, when they should be used, how to qualify for them, and examples of how they should be used once acquired.
- Grants and Microloans – We’ll discuss different types of grants and microloan options, how to find them, and how to increase your chances of getting approved for this type of financing.
- Traditional Bank Loans & Alternative Lending Marketplaces – A representative from Comerica Bank will discuss business funding programs offered by them and we’ll also discuss alternative lending marketplaces you can utilize when you don’t qualify for bank financing.
- Building Your Business Credit & Export-Import Financing – We’ll discuss unsecured business line of credit funding, how it works, how to build business credit ,and how you can secure capital through these programs even if you have few other options. We’ll also discuss import/export financing and how to use this funding to scale your business into African countries.
- Connecting to Investors & Scaling Your Business Into Africa – We’ll discuss the programs and resources available to help you connect with and raise capital from U.S. based investors and scale your business into African countries.
We are highly selective and seek the most competent, determined, persistent, and dedicated entrepreneurs seeking funding. Ideally, the entrepreneurs/businesses that should apply for this program have not raised more than $150,000 in outside capital and/or generate less than $1 million in annual revenue and fall into (one or more of) the following categories:
- Business Registered in the U.S. (If your business isn’t registered, we can help you get it setup)
- High Growth Tech, Tech-Enabled, and Traditional Businesses
- Special emphasis on companies that can sell products in Africa and the Caribbean
- Very Small Business Owners (w/ less than 10 employees)
- Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Founders & Owners
- African and Caribbean Immigrants
- Black Americans and Descendants of Enslaved Africans/African Americans
- Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Veterans, Persons with Disabilities, Women, Indigenous, Asian, Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, etc.
- Live in cities designated by the federal government as “low-to-moderate income areas”
- It is preferred that these areas be located in states including Michigan, Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Colorado, however other low-to-moderate income areas may still apply.
- Enterprise and Consumer Software
- Digital Technology
- Health Systems
- Clean Energy
- Climate Smart Solutions
- Food Security
- Natural Resources
- Agriculture (Agribusiness and Agritech)
- Real Estate
- Life Sciences and Medical Devices
- Engineering, Design, and Development
- CPG & Consumer Brands (with an e-commerce presence)
In this program you will:
- Learn what is required to secure various types of capital (debt, equity, and grants).
- Grow your network by connecting with business leaders, financial professionals, bankers, and investors.
- Get help with fundraising and be considered for future funding opportunities from VentureHue.
Participants that successfully complete the program will get 6 one-on-one sessions with the class instructor to further assist them in their fundraising efforts.
How This is Different from Other Accelerators
Other accelerators may focus on product development or customer discovery (it varies). We focus on how to better position and prepare your business to raise capital. We help you understand where you need to be and what you need to do to get there to meet your capital raising goals. Our program mission is to help entrepreneurs with limited access to capital, networks, and other resources get the education and support they need to scale their businesses and fuel job creation.
- Application deadline is Friday, March 22, 2024.
- Accepted applicants will be announced by April 5, 2024.
- Accelerator starts Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Sessions will run on Thursday from 6pm to 8pm EST).
- There will be information sessions held every Friday in February 2024. To get your questions answered and learn more about the program, go here to register for the information session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is capital guaranteed for entrepreneurs who participate in the accelerator?
Capital is not guaranteed (we can’t legally guarantee it). However, you will receive invaluable information and connections to industry experts, as well as the possibility of financial awards in the near future for entrepreneurs who perform the best.
Does my company need to be located in a specific area?
No, however entrepreneurs who live in cities designated by the federal government as “low-to-moderate income areas” are given priority. (It is preferred that these cities be located in Michigan, Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Colorado, however other low-to-moderate income areas may still apply).
What type of companies are you looking for?
We are looking for economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs and very small businesses with less than 10 employees. Annual company revenue should be less than $1M and you can’t have raised more than $150k from outside lenders or investors. We prefer technology driven businesses that have an interest in scaling their business into Africa or the Caribbean. (See the full list of preferred industries above).
Do I need to move if I am selected?
No. However, there may be more funding opportunities available to you if you are willing to move to our headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.
What are the core expectations?
Attendance to all six virtual class sessions is mandatory. Engaged participation in all sessions is also required. We also expect participants to utilize all 6 one-on-one sessions with the class instructor to assist them in their fundraising efforts. Participants who don’t attend all class sessions will not be eligible to receive the 6 one-on-one sessions after the class is complete. We expect program participants to remain engaged as an alum.