Black Founders Visit NYC to Access Funding and Business Development Opportunities
British Airways to fly founders in support of Mission.
NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The British Consulate-General in New York, and Emma Wade-Smith, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America and HM Consul General for New York, have announced the participants in the upcoming UK Black Tech Founders Mission taking place February 22nd -24th in New York City.
Twelve unique technology firms, set up by Black entrepreneurs in the UK, will take part in the delegation:
The UK’s flag carrier, British Airways, has partnered with the British Consulate-General in New York to fly the founders to and from New York in support of this mission.
The program offers UK-based, Black-founded companies the opportunity to explore the US tech ecosystem. Recognising the barriers Black tech founders face accessing venture capital, this mission will seek to elevate the founders’ profiles to NYC based investors and the wider NYC tech community. The delegates will engage with over 100 US based venture capitalists through networking events, meetings, and a capstone pitch night.
The UK founders will also meet with their US counterparts to discuss the differences between scaling a business on each side of the Atlantic and the lived Black entrepreneur experience in the UK & the US.
Emma Wade-Smith, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America and HM Consul-General in New York, said:
“I am delighted to welcome this impressive group of Black founders to New York, who represent some of the most innovative emerging tech firms in the UK. According to some research, in 2019 just 2.9 percent of deals that UK VCs made had Black founders, and we must take concrete steps to reduce this disparity. Achieving more equal racial representation in the workplace is a top policy priority for the UK Government, and I am very pleased that this annual trade mission is making great strides in tackling this crucial challenge and we are determined to keep closing the gap.”
Cornerstone Partners, an angel network focused on investing in exceptional Black and diverse founder led businesses across the UK, found sobering results in recent research. According to their findings, of UK founders who successfully raised VC funding in 2019, only 2.9% of founders identified as Black.
Despite the statistics, the selected cohort has collectively raised over $43 million USD, with AudioMob, an audio ad provider for mobile gaming, raising a notable $14million Series A in November 2021. The firms selected for this Mission are well positioned to expand into US markets. From Syrona Health, who have designed an app aimed at engaging and supporting all women in terms of gynaecological health, to Definely, which is demystifying the art of drafting, reviewing and understanding legal documents, the featured innovations in this mission are as diverse as the founders who created them.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO said:
“Transatlantic connectivity is vital for the UK’s economic recovery. Part of building back the economy is investing in and supporting entrepreneurial talent, which is why as the UK’s national flag carrier, we are delighted to be working alongside the British Consul General in New York to support these talented innovators to develop their networks and elevate their profiles on an international scale.”
“At British Airways we champion diversity and inclusion and the UK Black Founders Mission aligns with our BA Better World programme and our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture, that reflects the global communities we serve.”
More information on the 2022 UK Black Founders Mission in New York may be found here.
SOURCE BRITISH CONSULATE-GENERAL