Local entrepreneur graduates Founder Gym

March 5, 2019

Dayton entrepreneur and National Black Business Directory CEO Nate Dillard graduated Founder Gym last week, joining the ranks of Cohort 6 —Founder Gym’s largest cohort to date, and its first black founder class.

Founder Gym, an organization dedicated to closing the minority founder funding gap, launched its first cohort in January 2018. The six-week program trains founders in fundraising — specifically focusing on how to appeal to & pitch venture capitalists.

Currently, less than 2% of VC-backed founders are black, Founder Gym states. In the roughly year it has been active, Founder Gym has helped founders of color raise $35M.

“That’s the focus of Founder Gym,” he said. “It’s about understanding the terminology and VC speak, what they want to see in your profits, what you should and should not include in your pitch deck — the things that will get you investment.”

The cohort met virtually, interviewing successful venture capitalists and successful VC-backed founders, such as Morgan DeBaun, CEO of Blavity, who raised $6.5M in her B-round.

“As a minority, when you’re building a startup, you don’t know other people doing it. Friends and family don’t understand what you’re trying to do,” Nate said. ”But being in that (Founder Gym) course, we connected with each other, and now we have those friendships. It’s lonely being an entrepreneur. It was beautiful to meet other minorities actually doing what I’m doing.”

Founder Gym also recently announced at the Startup Grind Global Conference in LA that it is teaming up with Google for Startups. Among other benefits, this partnership means someone at Google will review each graduate’s two-minute pitch deck.

The Founder’s Gym training costs $2,000. The program runs several times each year. Apply by March 25 to participate in the next cohort. Visit https://foundergym.com/ for more info.

Nate is building the National Black Business Directory to be a one-stop-shop for business solutions for black business owners. In December, he acquired a popular black news media app to serve as the initial platform from which he’ll build out additional services.

He intends to begin reaching out to investors by the end of Q3. Connect with him here.