SOURCE: Franklin TempletonDESCRIPTION:
Nex Cubed, a leader in early-stage innovation and startup acceleration, has announced Franklin Templeton as the second founding partner for its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Founder’s Program for new entrepreneurs. The company joins previously announced founding partner, AT&T as it continues to provide access and opportunities to diverse underserved entrepreneurs.
“We are proud to partner with organizations such as Nex Cubed who have a shared commitment to diversity and creating a more inclusive investment environment,” said Regina Curry, Franklin Templeton's Chief Diversity Officer. “We believe the HBCU Founder’s Program will play a critical role in creating equal representation and access to opportunities within the startup ecosystem.”
With the series of devastating racial injustice events last summer, Nex Cubed doubled down on its diversity and inclusion efforts by launching its HBCU Founder’s Program with the goal of inspiring students and recent alumni at HBCUs in their pursuit of entrepreneurship. To date, more than 350 students and alumni from more than 50 HBCUs have enrolled in the Next Cubed program and participated in industry webinars and virtual ideation sessions. The events are led by corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and top-tier investors across FinTech, EdTech, Digital Health, and PropTech - key social determinants in desperate need of systemic reform that technology can help enable.
As a founding partner, Franklin Templeton will help inform the fintech program offerings as well as provide hands-on support to the new entrepreneurs through its employees who will serve as mentors and advisors. Franklin Templeton's employees will have the opportunity volunteer in this capacity.
"It is fairly common knowledge that there is a lack of diversity in the venture capital space, and therefore the startup ecosystem, and a lot of work needs to be done in order to improve this,” said Marlon Evans, Nex Cubed CEO. “Our HBCU Founder’s Program aims to close the racial disparity gap and provide not only monetary support for aspiring entrepreneurs, but also advisory support, mentorship, and networking opportunities. We’re proud to partner with organizations like Franklin Templeton who are committed to locking arms and achieving this goal.”
On March 2, Nex Cubed debuted the nine startups and their founders selected to participate in the inaugural HBCU Founder's Summer Acceleration Program, which will take place virtually this summer. The founders received $10,000 (all figures US) in non-dilutive capital, technical resources to develop an MVP, physical working space in Silicon Valley, a business advisor, and more than $1 million worth of service provider perks and discounts to help propel their companies.
About Franklin Templeton
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company brings extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has over 70 years of investment experience and approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
KEYWORDS: NYSE:BEN, Franklin Templeton, HBCU, entrepreneurship program, Nex Cubed, entrepreneurs