“We need this,” said Michelle. “Exactly what I needed,” said Vincent. Michelle Ching and Vincent Cobb are two of 46 Fellows who said they needed Camelback. They are two of over 830 who applied to our Fellowship. They are two of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs of color (EOC) and women – in education and beyond – who are seeking a place like Camelback.
If genius is equally distributed, why is it that people of color and women are saying that they need Camelback to achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations? Part of this is because of the historical and systemic racial wealth gap that exists in America, and another is due to the race and gender “tax” that entrepreneurs of color and women experience while developing their venture.
For more of our research and our why, consider taking a look the executive summary of our strategic plan.
Our vision is that, in twenty years, Camelback will have contributed to a nation of livable communities where everyone has the opportunity for a quality education and a good life. The way we see ourselves building this future is through our mission as an accelerator that identifies, develops, and promotes early-stage underrepresented entrepreneurs with the aim to increase individual and community education, and generational wealth. We are currently focusing on both intimate and high-level work: 1) working closely with leaders to grow great founders and great ventures, and 2) to positively impact and change the entrepreneurial and funding ecosystem at large.
DIRECTLY SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURS
The Education Fellowship
When you hear someone say they’re a “Camelback Fellow,” they’re probably talking about this. This intensive program is our core and flagship offering, working to support early stage education and social impact entrepreneurs. We focus on coaching, capital, connections, community, and curriculum.
Good Jobs Initiative
Our second vertical: economic development and the creation of literally good jobs. Our pilot runs through Fall 2018 in New Orleans; our cohort will meet twice a week, collaborating with passionate and brilliant local partners and learning how to grow revenue streams and take their work to the next level.
EVOLVING THE SYSTEM
To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together. In Fall 2017 at Cavallo Point in California, we hosted our inaugural Ecosystem Summit, an invite-only gathering of 100 social impact leaders: entrepreneurs, educators, philanthropists, venture capitalists, journalists, artists, and more, all of whom are people of color or passionate allies. This two-day summit featured panelists with topics such as private giving, the importance of Black philanthropy, and entrepreneurial community. We intend to host our next Summit in 2019.
We believe it takes a village; we aim to improve the overall funding environment, thereby exponentially increasing the opportunities for all entrepreneurs of color and women. Our goal is to encourage investors to take the steps necessary to identify, fund, and support entrepreneurs of color from all walks of life. We will co-create this Fellowship with an advisory council of investors who will help us craft a meaningful for their community. Our work on the pilot for the Investor Fellowship begins Fall 2018.