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Black and Latino Tech Initiative, created to help diversity-led early-stage companies gain access to capital and coaching, to launch this week

Mukesh Patel, entrepreneur in residence and executive coach at the Black and Latino Tech Initiative.-(COURTESY PHOTO)

The Black and Latino Tech Initiative, a collaborative program with the goal to aid early-stage companies with black and Latino co-founders with viable business models, will launch this week in Newark, organizers said.Mukesh Patel, the entrepreneur in residence and executive coach, said the group aims to give resources and mentorship to these early-stage companies in an effort to help them gain traction and attract more private capital and gain admission into quality accelerators.

“We’re building relationships with (venture capitalists), angels and accelerators committed to investing in quality teams of color,” Patel said.

The group plans a soft launch Thursday in Newark at the offices of Newark Venture Partners.

The group will work with the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, which is a research-driven, practitioner-oriented entrepreneurship and economic development center at the Rutgers Business School in Newark.

Lyneir Richardson, the executive director at CUEED, and Jeffrey Robinson, the group’s academic director, also serve on the executive committee of the Black and Latino Tech Initiative. Melissa Jackson is the program director.

The initiative’s directors say they are looking for companies with at least one black or Latino founder, which have a tangible product, viable business model and are willing to be coached.

Companies accepted into the program will undergo a diagnostic review of their business model, then be provided a mentor who will customize a work plan while making connections between the company and potential investors.

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