American Underground has a lofty goal — to become the most diverse startup incubator by the end of 2016.
Why the rush?
“Great business ideas aren’t getting the opportunity to come to market because the tech community of startups and investors lacks diversity,” said Adam Klein, chief strategist with the Durham, N.C.-based accelerator.
So by the end of next year, American Underground wants women and minority-led firms to make up more than 50% of its startups. (Currently, it’s 36% of the 225 startups.)
It’s not just lip service. Klein pointed to a variety of initiatives started in 2013 to aggressively recruit more female entrepreneurs to its three campuses.
There’s a nursing room at American Underground’s main location in downtown Durham. Networking, mentoring and cocktail hour events are scheduled before 6 p.m.