Nex Cubed Selects Inaugural Class of HBCU Founders to Participate in Summer Acceleration Program

March 2, 2021: Nex Cubed, a leader in early-stage innovation and startup acceleration, has announced the founders (and companies) selected to participate in the inaugural HBCU Founder’s Summer Acceleration Program taking place virtually this summer. The founders invited to the Summer Acceleration Program will receive $10,000 in non-dilutive capital, technical resources to develop an MVP, physical working space in Silicon Valley, a business advisor, and over $1M worth of service provider perks and discounts to help propel their companies.

At the initial stage of the program, applications for the HBCU Founder’s Summer Acceleration Program were accepted whereby all founders who applied were invited to pitch their startup ideas to the Nex Cubed team. Successful finalists were then invited to pitch in a final round which consisted of presenting their business to an external panel of high profile partners and industry experts, including AT&T and Sway Ventures.

Nex Cubed CEO, Marlon Evans says, “Diversity and inclusion has always been important to us, and with over 50% of our portfolio being led by female and underrepresented founders, Nex Cubed is leading the industry through its exceptional companies. We as an organization believe that if you can do more, you should, so this past summer we launched our HBCU Founder’s Program to help give founders a much needed kickstart into the industry.”  

The founders that will be participating in the Summer Acceleration Program have startups that span across Financial Services (FinTech), Education (EdTech), Digital Health, and Real Estate (PropTech) – key social determinants in desperate need of systemic reform that technology can help enable. The cohort includes:

  • Jonathan Swindell, The HBCU HUB App, Grambling State University – The world’s first app that connects you to recruiters at HBCUs
  • Adéwole Travittlee, TradeSmart, Morehouse College – A mobile app that provides users with a holistic understanding of the stock market, its companies, and industries
  • Gerard Bellot, Theia.ia, University of the Virgin Islands – A software company that specializes in BIG Data processing
  • Candice Blacknall, GABA, Morehouse School of Medicine A LinkedIn for medical trainees that matches trainees to study tools and support services based on their learning style
  • Imani Hinton and Ajané Hinton, Now Open App, North Carolina A&T State University and Florida A&M University –  A project aimed at reducing the financial barriers experienced by business owners, underbanked, and unbanked customers and employees
  • Gerard Charlot and Trevor Alexander, Diversity Health NetwoRx, Morgan State University – A platform that increases clinical trials participation by addressing health disparities 
  • Perewari Pere, Trameter, Lincoln University – A personalized travel app that uses your interests to create bespoke travel packages in under a minute
  • Leslie Winston, Monocle, North Carolina A&T State University – The first ever collaborative e-reader designed to enable connection while reading
  • Torrence Reed, Noirbnb, North Carolina A&T State University – A global travel community that provides experiences and events with a focus on including and celebrating travelers of color
  • Jovante Ham, Mel x Studio, Prairie View A&M – A hybrid eLearning software that provides education in a simple, easily digestible, step by step format for new online business owners

For more details about the companies and their founders, visit the Nex Cubed Meet the Founders page

To date, Nex Cubed has had over 350 students and alumni from over 50 HBCUs enroll in the program and participate in industry webinars and virtual ideation sessions led by corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and top-tier investors across FinTech, EdTech, Digital Health, and PropTech.

In addition to the HBCU Founder’s Program lead corporate supporter AT&T, others have raised their hand to support the program include Morgan Stanley Cooley and Perkins Coie, along with several community partners such as ACT House, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Black Venture Capital Consortium or BVCC, Divercity, Envision, HBCU Awards, HBCU Nation, Money Making Conversations With Rushion McDonald, NAF, Next Gen HQ, YG&N, and TiE Atlanta.  

“Congratulations to the selected founders and to all students who participated in the process,” said Mylayna Albright, AT&T AVP of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Creating meaningful, long-term opportunity for students who are underrepresented in these tech industries not only brings new ideas and diversity to businesses, but also makes our communities stronger.” Albright also thanked the AT&T employees who volunteered their time to work with the students: “Our employees are our greatest asset and committed to making positive change.”  

On March 18, 2021, Nex Cubed will host the HBCU Founder’s Summer Acceleration Program Meet the Founders event. Click here to register for the event.  

Learn more about Nex Cubed’s HBCU Founder’s Program here.


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Gallium Ventures

Gallium Ventures
Gallium Ventures