Dayton co focused on minority biz support links with global tech accelerator

April 16, 2019

Dayton-based ​National Black Business Directory​ (NBBD), a company that seeks to empower African American business owners, is now an official affiliate of global tech accelerator Techstars.

“It’s exciting because currently ​only 2% of minority founders​ are VC-backed and not many grow and succeed past the startup phase,” NBBD founder and CEO Nate Dillard said. “The Techstars Affiliate program gives us an opportunity to change the narrative.”

NBBD is a business development platform that seeks to “improve the economic and social status of the black community” by empowering black businesses, according to its mission statement. The organization offers services ranging from business plan assistance to web development to black founders and business owners.

NBBD’s end-to-end business solutions and ecosystem will allow us to invest in, empower, and grow minority-owned tech startups that are reinventing industries and catalyzing change,” Nate said.

Techstars is a global tech accelerator that helps entrepreneurs succeed and grow their businesses. As an official affiliate, NBBD will connect its network of clients to Techstars’ business growth resources, including access to other entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners.

Techstars is consistently globally ranked as a​ ​top three accelerator​ based on successful exits. Participating companies receive $4 million in funding on average. In total, Techstars has raised more than $6 billion for its companies.

NBBD has to refer at least one company per quarter, but there is no limit on the number of companies the organization can put forward. So far, NBBD has referred ​$Guap Coin​, a black woman-owned cryptocurrency and blockchain designed to incentivize the black community to invest in itself; ​Always Obelisk Network​, a communications company providing secure Wi-Fi to underserved areas; and ​ZiM​, an augmented reality-powered social media app for art.

“My experience working with Nate and Techstars was incredible,” Always Obelisk Network co-founder Ryan Morgan said. “Throughout the process, I learned more about scale and the value of my product while also understanding how I could put a team together to create a successful company.”

Late last year, NBBD acquired ​BLVCK, an app that pulls together top news from 13 prominent media outlets that serve the black community. Dillard plans to redevelop the app to be the business, political & philanthropic news hub for the black community.