Oyate Group, a nonprofit organization, is launching a startup funding competition aimed at providing support to aspiring entrepreneurs of color in the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem. Taking inspiration from the popular television show “Shark Tank,” the competition seeks to assist individuals with great ideas but limited resources in turning their visions into reality.
The initiative aims to cater to two groups of entrepreneurs: those who have already started their own companies and need assistance in scaling up, and those who possess innovative ideas but have faced challenges in getting their ventures off the ground. Often, individuals in underserved communities, including formerly incarcerated individuals and those without access to higher education, encounter financial barriers and lack the support networks typically available to entrepreneurs.
In the competition, the first-place winner will receive $50,000, the runner-up will receive $25,000, and the third-place winner will receive $10,000. Additionally, the selected entrepreneurs will undergo a 10-week training program and gain access to Oyate Group’s resources, including accounting, legal, and digital media support. In return for this support, Oyate Group will take a percentage of equity in the winning projects, with a benchmark of 7%. The profits generated will be reinvested into Oyate Group’s programs to benefit future entrepreneurs.
The application process for the competition is now open, with a deadline of June 1. Interested individuals can apply by submitting an online application. A panel of judges, including successful entrepreneur Junior Martinez, will evaluate the applications and select candidates for in-person interviews. Oyate Group’s goal extends beyond the 10-week program, as they plan to provide ongoing support tailored to the specific needs of each business. The organization aims to foster long-term sustainability and success for the selected entrepreneurs.
Oyate Group’s initiative seeks motivated individuals who possess a clear vision and strong commitment to their ideas. The organization believes that the dedication and investment of the entrepreneurs themselves play a crucial role in the success of their ventures. By offering financial assistance, training, and ongoing support, Oyate Group aims to empower entrepreneurs of color and contribute to their long-term prosperity.
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