Angela Benton’s startup accelerator initiative for the minorities has grown from strength to strength in the short span of its first season itself, and has now thrown its doors open for the Summer/Fall program of 2012. NewMe was borne out of a 2010 conference in Washington DC that brought together some of the best minds in minority-led startups and venture capitalists to devise methods and chart out a “policy framework for advancing and stimulating the growth and sustainability of minority new media start-ups.” The result of the combined efforts was NewMe that put together an accelerator program, based out of the Bay Area to encourage national as well as local minority talent in technology.
From an initial 75 applications received for the First Cycle, the program’s popularity, mainly post the airing of Black in America 4, have now gone upto 300, according to Angela’s blog post at the accelerator website. She says of the performance of the first cycle, “Collectively, 60% of the Founders in first NewME Accelerator cycle raised money. Of the 60% that raised money the average investment amount was about $92,000 with a total investment amount of a little over half a million dollars. It’s important to note that this was accomplished without NewME making any financial investments into the companies.”
NewMe Accelerator would be launching TWO cycles in 2012, of which the first one has just been announced, commencing on February 20, 2012. The second one would be from August of this year. For an exchange of a 4% stake in the selected companies, NewME’s accelerator program will live and work with a community of peers, mentors and access to services from NewME partners for the 12 weeks of stay. Here is a list of the selected Winter/Spring Class of 2012 Startups.