i2E to invest over $600,000 in startups through joint venture with ACT House

by The Black Wall Street Times
Published: Last Updated on

TULSA, Okla. – Building on the work of funding startups, ACT House, in partnership with i2E, is pleased to launch the first cohort for the ACT Tulsa accelerator last month. Through generous investment partnerships with Biolchini Family Foundation, Cortez Family Foundation, Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Build in Tulsa, and VAST Bank, along with the support of Black Tech Street, ACT Tulsa will invest $70,000 into each startup participating in this inaugural cohort. 

“What is unique about this investment is that the capital is 100% non-dilutive meaning the founders do not lose any ownership of their company,” stated Malachi Blankenship, Venture Advisor & Director of Business Development at i2E. “Our goal is to raise the equity bar for Black and Brown founders. We’re making this $70,000 investment in amazing founders in a way that works to increase their valuation by fueling their startup to capture more revenue without decreasing their ownership.”

Over a 22-year history, i2E’s nationally recognized services have provided business expertise and funding to more than 745 of Oklahoma’s emerging small businesses. With more than $90 million of investment capital under management, i2E is focused on serving Oklahoma companies in all phases of the business life cycle, from startups looking for their first round of capital to established businesses seeking funding to expand their markets or products. i2E, Inc. receives state support from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, and is an integral part of Oklahoma’s Innovation Model.

This 6-month cohort driven accelerator program is aimed at cultivating and driving innovation of minority-led technology startups located in Tulsa and beyond. In this first cohort, nine companies with 17 founders were selected that range in industry, founder background and cultural dynamics.

The companies participating are BiteWay, Boddle, Bodify, BootUP, Cadenza, Comme Homme, Concept C3, Fansub, and Fresh Fabrics. Founders will spend the next six months building equity in their operations, product development and team cohesion, positioning the startups to raise money in their first round. 

“Over this past year, our team has worked diligently in designing an accelerator that is positioned to amplify startups in Tulsa and startups who want to build here! Spawning from our coliving incubator and innovation hackathons with companies like Microsoft, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and NexCubed, we are excited about the amazing founders we have opportunity to support through ACT Tulsa,” stated Dominick Ard’is, Founder of ACT House.

ACT House is the global platform for team formation and startup creation, by helping innovators find their Founder DNA, build teams and accelerate their companies through accelerator programs. With offices in Tallahassee, FL and now Tulsa, OK, through the years ACT House has partnered with companies like Microsoft, John Deere, NexCubed, and higher ed institutions to accelerate innovation ecosystems by transforming entrepreneurs.  

“We have a pretty extensive runway in Tulsa from our joint fundraising efforts. So, seeing our full platform deployed here, will aide our mission in assisting innovators to find their identity, form teams, and start/scale their companies.” 

To learn more about ACT Tulsa, visit www.acttulsa.com

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