Northwestern Mutual dedicating $20 million in enterprise capital to Black-founded startups

Northwestern Mutual dedicating $20 million in venture capital to Black-founded startups

Sarah Hauer
| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance coverage Co. is beginning a brand new effort to help Black entrepreneurs by dedicating $20 million of its enterprise capital funding to Black-founded startups and launching an accelerator. 

Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures will dedicate $20 million to investing in firms based by Black entrepreneurs, the corporate introduced in a information launch Wednesday. It can additionally accomplice with gener8tor, the nationally ranked startup accelerator based mostly in Milwaukee, to launch the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator.  

“Modern pondering is required to drive breakthrough options to shut the racial fairness hole, and by supporting Black founders by way of Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures and the brand new accelerator program in partnership with gener8tor, we are able to make a distinction to shut this funding hole,” Abim Kolawole, vp of digital innovation at Northwestern Mutual, mentioned in a information launch.

 Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures launched with $50 million and subsequently introduced an extra $150 million in 2019. Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures has invested greater than $60 million in almost 30 startups since 2017. It devoted $20 million of its funding to female-founded startups in 2019. 

Firm founders who’re Black obtain simply 1% of all enterprise capital funding within the U.S., in accordance with present estimates. 

“At Northwestern Mutual we’re devoted to supporting and selling range not simply inside our firm, however inside our communities and the companies we accomplice with nationwide,” John Grogan, chief product and innovation officer at Northwestern Mutual, mentioned in a information launch. “Allocating $20 million is simply the start – we are going to proceed to spend money on and supply alternatives for Black founders and are dedicated to offering entry to capital and sources to assist them develop their companies.”

Black-founded startups which are aligned with Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures’ strategic areas will probably be eligible for the funding and accelerator. The fund invests in firms that target constructing for shoppers’ altering monetary preferences, reimagining the shopper expertise, digital well being revolution and transformational analytics and applied sciences. 

The Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator powered by gener8tor plans to start out its first cohort in early 2021. The 12-week program will run as much as two cohorts of 5 firms a 12 months. 

Sarah Hauer might be reached at or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. Subscribe to her weekly publication Be MKE at 

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