James Gorman

Morgan Stanley has launched a new Multicultural Innovation Lab to help propel minority-led tech startups. 

The first cohort of companies the lab is sponsoring include five tech firms, spanning industries from commerce to finance. 

The bank will sponsor two cohorts a year. 

The selected-companies are working out of Morgan Stanley’s global headquarters in New York during the four-month program. As such, they will be able to tap into the bank’s networks to identify potential customers and investors, according to a spokesperson for Morgan Stanley. 

The companies also have access to insights from Newark Venture Partners, a New Jersey-based venture capital firm, and Techstars, a global entrepreneurial network. 

William Crowder, formerly head of Comcast Ventures, is the Entrepreneur-In-Residence.

The point of the incubator is to help entrepreneurs of minority backgrounds, who are often ignored by venture capital firms, scale and grow.

“With less than 3% of venture capital dollars going to multicultural entrepreneurs, we will use Morgan Stanley’s global reach to provide the capital, content, and connections needed to help accelerate the growth of these exciting companies and help bridge that funding gap,” said Alice Vilma, executive director of Morgan Stanley.

The five firms selected are as follows: 

  • AptDeco – AptDeco is a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of preowned furniture.
  • GitLinks – GitLinks helps clients monitor security and legal compliance using artificial intelligence.
  • Kairos – Kairos helps businesses integrate facial recognition capabilities into their infrastructures.
  • Landit – Landit is a social networking site that provides a platform for women to achieve success by connecting them with personalized career advancement opportunities.
  • Trigger Finance – Trigger Finance sifts through relevant world and financial news events for do-it-yourself investors and identifies actions they can make to best position their portfolio. 

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/morgan-stanley-tech-incubator-2017-7

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