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Inclusive Connections

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Inclusion Overview Graphic
Creating more diverse, scalable firms holds great promise for creating economic impact and alleviating inner city economic challenges because, statistically, high growth minority firms employ minority workers at more than twice the rate of non-minority firms. Still, there is a critical gap in funding and support for high potential, women- and minority-led businesses.

That’s why at JumpStart, economic inclusion is at the core of how we do business. It’s a genuine commitment that allows us to help realize a rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and promise.

At a high level, our work involves:

  • Encouraging minority and women entrepreneurs to think differently about entrepreneurship and consider starting high growth firms.

  • Increasing the number of high growth women- and minority-owned businesses seeking venture or angel capital investment and helping them prepare to pitch for and receive that investment.

  • Increasing the amount of risk capital invested in women- and minority-led companies.

  • Connecting minority talent, investors, researchers and other historically underrepresented communities to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

KeyBank Foundation

To engage with and advance the needs of diverse entrepreneurs, JumpStart’s approach includes:


We promote, host and produce educational or networking events and communications specifically targeted to diverse entrepreneurial audiences. JumpStart also works closely with the regional chapters of the National Black MBA Association and National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and we are connected to national organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the Black Data Processing Association, Urban Financial Services Association, Black Ivy Alumni League, The Initiative For A Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Inner City Capital Connections.


We share stories of diverse entrepreneurs who are working to grow bigger businesses, such as the members of the Charter One Launch100 Leadership Circle. Established in 2012, the Circle recognizes diverse entrepreneurs committed to turning their business ideas into some of the region’s most impactful companies.

Intensive Hands-on Assistance

We provide hands-on strategic planning to enable high potential minority, women and inner city entrepreneurs to articulate high growth plans, access investment funds and move their businesses through key growth milestones.

Access to Capital & Connections to First Clients:

We introduce diverse entrepreneurs to a national network of capital sources. And, our First Client Pilot Initiative helps thoroughly vetted client companies identify, approach and secure their first major client upon completing a structured pilot or beta test with a major corporation.

Embedded Inclusion

We are committed to embedding inclusion across our organization. This means hiring talented women and minorities, as well as seeking out diverse board leadership, subject matter experts and service providers. By increasing broader participation in the economic development and venture capital worlds, we are generating awareness, connections and opportunity for traditionally disconnected audiences.