Doing Well And Doing Good (Entrepreneurship) In Harlem
CoFound Harlem is on mission to build 100 sustainable tech companies in Harlem by 2020 and purpose driven entrepreneurship is just one of the five trends in entrepreneurship, John Henry is keeping his eye on.
Entrepreneur, John Henry doesn’t see challenges rather, he views obstacles as opportunities. He also believes in improving economic opportunity for all. Earlier this year, John Henry, along with his Cofound Harlem co-founders decided to take on Harlem — can’t be done Harlem naysayers that is — by launching a 9-month accelerator program with the aim of bringing 100 new businesses to Harlem over five years. Cofound Harlem provides participating startups with resources, mentors and free office. It does not take an equity stake in the participating companies but the startups must commit to remaining in Harlem for at least four years.
The big goal of Cofound Harlem is to grow the entrepreneurial eco-system in Harlem.
Delivering on the promise of technology also needs money, so the next opportunity John Henry’s acting on is to raise a venture capital fund. It would be Harlem’s first. The fund will invest in the Harlem ecosystem with a focus on startups launched by minorities, women and veterans. Cofound Harlem will remain a mission-driven, non-profit accelerator and the fund (which John Henry hopes to raise almost exclusively from successful black entrepreneurs), will invest in companies going through the accelerator program.
With one Cofound cohort under his belt and the fundraising underway, John Henry stopped to reflect on the 2015 entrepreneurship trends he’s witnessed as the founder of a mission driven venture:
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