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Innovation Included, by First Founders Inc.

Innovation Included, by First Founders Inc.

By First Founders
A new podcast telling the stories of diverse entrepreneurs and innovators contributing to a more inclusive and equitable startup ecosystem.

First Founders Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, is on a mission to lower barriers to entry and
increase the likelihood of success in the innovation ecosystem by creating access to
educational programming, relevant networks, and funding opportunities where entrepreneurs
from diverse backgrounds are challenged to meet their full potential and equipped with the resources necessary to thrive.
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New Opportunity: $150k in Prizes from Startup302, Sponsored by Delaware Prosperity Partnership!
Startup 302 is a Delaware-based funding competition for technology-enabled startups led by underrepresented founders. Winners will receive prize money, access to mentors, and valuable connections. All technology-enabled startups, with at least one founding team member from an underrepresented group are welcomed to apply for consideration. Considering the profile of Delaware’s ecosystem, those working in bioscience, chemistry, advanced materials, agriculture, and financial & business services, and the up-and-coming e-sports industry are especially  encouraged to participate. The application deadline is FEBRUARY 12, 2021. LEARN MORE & APPLY HERE Additionally, you can learn more about Delaware Prosperity Partnership here.
05:20
January 13, 2021
REWIND: Meet Kemba Hall, founder of HairSense!
In this throwback episode, I caught up with my good friend and fellow founder, Kemba Hall! Kemba is a Cohort #1 graduate of the First Founder's Accelerator, and she came back to Delaware with a few updates on where she's at now in her startup journey. She founded HairSense to help women like her simplify their haircare experience.  "HairSense is an application using data-driven technology to simplify the haircare experience for curly women, while addressing the business needs of haircare lines and stylists. Finding compatible, styles, products, and services no longer have to be a burden for women. We're helping women pick out their next style the way they pick out their next outfit!" Keep up with Kemba & #HairSense by visiting hairsenseapp.com and following @hairsenseapp on instagram!
21:09
January 11, 2021
Meet Bryce Fender, cofounder of Wilminvest!
In this episode, I caught up with my friend Bryce Fender, cofounder of Wilminvest. Bryce and I were super hyped up since we were just recognized as the 'Delaware Business Times 40 Under 40' for 2019. I've known Bryce for a few years now, and he's never taken his foot off the gas when it comes to putting his passion for change to work.  Wilminvest is a supportive housing provider that provides affordable housing in the city of Wilmington Delaware. This social venture works with community healthcare organizations to provide housing to consumers experiencing substance abuse, mental illness and chronic veteran homelessness. Shortly after this interview, Wilminvest won $10,000 at the "Swim with the Sharks" pitch competition. Congrats fellas!!   We had a real talk about what it really means to be entrepreneurs and innovators, and I hope a piece of this interview resonates with you. Let me know what you think in the comments!
19:55
January 4, 2021
#Founder101 | How to Use the Lean Canvas to Test Business Ideas
Check out this audio from a breakdown of the Lean Canvas (Video Here). I wanted to break down this really useful tool for entrepreneurs of all stages. Everybody has ideas, right? Well I'm often asked, "How should I get started???"  I always recommend that entrepreneurs and aspiring founders begin outlining and testing their ideas with the Lean Canvas. It's a really useful tool for helping you break down your key assumptions before investing time and resources into developing your idea. Let me know if this was helpful!
17:03
November 7, 2020
Meet Kemba Hall, founder of HairSense!
In this episode, I caught up with my good friend and fellow founder, Kemba Hall! Kemba is a Cohort #1 graduate of the First Founder's Accelerator, and she came back to Delaware with a few updates on where she's at now in her startup journey. She founded HairSense to help women like her simplify their haircare experience.  "HairSense is your personalized curly hair companion - with a community of stylists, products, influencers, and the best solutions for your curly hair lifestyle."  Keep up with Kemba & HairSense by visiting hairsenseapp.com and following @hairsenseapp on instagram!
20:04
October 23, 2020
Mentor Session | Investing in Early-Stage Tech w/ Denisha Kuhlor from Grasshopper Bank
Hey listeners check out this throwback to earlier this year when Denisha Kuhlor hosted a mentor session with our accelerator participants! Denisha joined Grasshopper Bank in 2019 and is a relationship manager in the early stage practice. Prior to joining Grasshopper Bank, Denisha worked at Silicon Valley Bank focused on founders in New York. Denisha is first-generation Ghanaian American and writes a weekly newsletter on artist/fan relationships called Stan. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with our community of founders, Denisha! Reminder: The Inclusive Startup Accelerator operates from October 24th through December 5th, 2020. Participants will gain automatic entry to a $10,000 Pitch Competition in January of 2021! Apply by Oct. 16th by 11:59pm ET at firstfounders.org!
1:01:57
October 13, 2020
Mentor Session | Developing Founder Mental Wealth w/ Anthony Ware, Founder of AWare Catalysts
Anthony Ware grew up as a latchkey kid from Indianapolis where he and his two younger brothers were raised by their dad. His first gig was cleaning toilets for his dad's janitorial business. Anthony jumped from the corporate ladder to launch startups. He ignored his scarcity mentality until it broke him in November 2010, he had to live in a car in New Orleans after his third startup failed. Two months later, thanks to mentors and yoga teacher training, Anthony was a phoenix. Ten years later, Anthony’s businesses help underestimated startup founders use their mental wealth and company culture to leapfrog business norms, and create new generational wealth. AWare Catalysts helps underestimated founders (People of Color, Women, LGBTQIA) create scalable, positive impact on their people and bottom line through mental wealth, culture, empathy and self-awareness. The 2019 Founder Mental Wealth Report, Vol. 1 is the inaugural research study for underestimated startup founders in the UK and US. This is a first step to reverse the negative generational impact of mental illness and social injustice, and increase generational mental wealth to complement the generational financial wealth currently being created. Founders can use these to identify practices to help them create or refine their mental wealth based on our peers with similar backgrounds. Reminder: The Inclusive Startup Accelerator operates from October 24th through December 5th, 2020. Participants will gain automatic entry to a $10,000 Pitch Competition in January of 2021! Apply by Oct. 16th by 11:59pm EST at firstfounders.org!
59:07
October 8, 2020
Join Our New Accelerator & $10,000 Pitch Competition!
The Inclusive Startup Accelerator operates from October 24th through December 5th, 2020. Participants will gain automatic entry to a $10,000 Pitch Competition in January of 2021! Our 6-week program aims to accelerate the development of underrepresented founders, and a community of diverse founders developing scalable solutions. The program will be focused on setting measurable goals, gaining meaningful traction, and building a supportive community of entrepreneurs. Thank you to our pitch competition sponsor, Delaware Prosperity Partnership. If you identify as an individual from an underrepresented group, or if you'd like to empower & support those groups, you're in the right place! We aim to create a diversity of ways to participate so that everyone has a sense of belonging. Our program consists on Saturday Education Sessions, Office Hours on weekday evenings, and a Community of Founders supporting one another. This program will be focused on setting measurable goals, gaining meaningful traction, and building a supportive community of entrepreneurs. Interested participants should at least have a startup idea or be in the early stages of their startup's development. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis. If you’re interested in supporting our diverse community of founders, please support by following our new podcast, subscribing to our newsletter, and contacting us to make a tax-deductible donation. Additionally, we’d love to partner with support organizations, venture capital firms, and experienced entrepreneurs invested in the development of early-stage founders. Applications to the Inclusive Startup Accelerator are due on Oct. 16th by 11:59pm EST
05:11
October 7, 2020
New Opportunities! October Application Deadlines...
Check out these awesome new opportunities from REVOLT Summit, The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, and BLCK VC!
08:16
October 2, 2020