WITH SUPPORT FROM FISERV, AND IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INCLUSIVE INNOVATION INCUBATOR, HOWARD UNIVERSITY WILL TRAIN AND EMPOWER BLACK-OWNED STARTUPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
WASHINGTON – Howard University, in partnership with Fiserv, Inc. and the Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3DC), is announcing the launch of Inclusive Innovation Labs (IIL) focused on Howard University students and alumni. Supported by a grant from Fiserv, the IIL is the first program organized in partnership with the Howard University Office of Research, Intellectual Property Unit that will train and support entrepreneurs of color to launch and scale their businesses. Howard University’s network of innovative students and faculty will receive In3DC’s entrepreneurship training to address the specific needs of entrepreneurs of color.
“The Inclusive Innovation Labs, sponsored by Fiserv, will help educate and empower Howard entrepreneurs to make a difference in the world by bringing their ideas closer to realization,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA. “We are grateful to CEO Frank Bisignano and the Fiserv team for their investment in the Howard community and to CEO Aaron Saunders and In3DC for their continued partnership.”
The inaugural program will bring together a cohort of 15 Howard University students, alumni, faculty and small business owners, with a focus on financial technology (fintech) businesses and innovators with patentable work. Participants will receive 48 hours of fully virtual programming, including 24 hours of intense entrepreneurship workshops, weekly one-on-one coaching and support with pitch-deck preparation.
“We have been committed to serving the underrepresented and underserved communities,” said In3DC Founder and CEO Aaron Saunders, MBA. “In3DC was established to provide this type of programming with educational partners such as Howard University and companies like Fiserv. The Inclusive Innovation Labs entrepreneurship program has trained over 125 participants, and through this partnership, we will continue to build the entrepreneurship ecosystem.”
According to Bruce Jones, Ph.D., vice president for research at Howard University, “This partnership represents a perfect marriage between learning and the practical application of learning with the potential to transform how we support communities to thrive.”
Entrepreneurs participating in Inclusive Innovation Labs in conference roomThe investment from Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, is part of the company’s Back2Business program, a pledge to invest in communities across the country with a focus on helping small minority-owned businesses. In addition, Fiserv associates will lead training sessions for the cohort, sharing real-world expertise on payments, financial technology, customer engagement and cybersecurity.
“At Fiserv, we recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion within our organization and look for ways to support efforts that promote opportunity beyond our four walls,” said Fiserv President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Bisignano, who also holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Howard University. “By partnering with In3DC to bring Inclusive Innovation Labs to Howard University, we will provide aspiring entrepreneurs of color with the resources they need to scale innovative businesses, acquire capital investments and ultimately give back to our communities.”
ILL training will culminate in a rigorous pitch competition, where participants will be judged and receive feedback on their ideas, business model and marketing plans from Fiserv executives, angel investors, journalists, entrepreneurs and technology experts. The competition will award $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000 to first-, second- and third-place winners toward the development of their product, positioning them to successfully pitch outside investors for additional funding.
The partnership complements Howard University’s ongoing efforts to educate and support diverse business leaders and innovators, which has included collaboration with Black-owned incubator and coworking space, In3DC, since its founding in 2016. In addition, the inaugural program will be held in collaboration with the National Black Chamber of Commerce.
Photo credit In3DC: Entrepreneurs participate in Inclusive Innovation Labs workshop.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV) aspires to move money and information in a way that moves the world. As a global leader in payments and financial technology, the company helps clients achieve best-in-class results through a commitment to innovation and excellence in areas including account processing and digital banking solutions; card issuer processing and network services; payments; e-commerce; merchant acquiring and processing; and the Clover® cloud-based point-of-sale solution. Fiserv is a member of the S&P 500® Index and the FORTUNE® 500, and is among FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies®. Visit fiserv.com and follow on social media for more information and the latest company news.
About Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3DC)
Understanding the critical need to build an ecosystem that drives business growth for members in untapped and underserved communities, the Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) opened in April 2017 to provide trainings and workshops to diverse entrepreneurs, startups and technologists. In3 programs are: Future is Written in Code (FiWiC), which focuses on technology and business courses; Grow and Glow, which is a women-focused program that includes seminars, discussions and networking opportunities; IIL, a minimum 48-hour entrepreneurship program designed, developed and managed with underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs in mind; and “It’s Not Just a Game,” which includes game days, discussions and courses. For more information, visit www.in3dc.com.