Programs like the BIG Accelerator in Atlanta offer opportunities for black and brown women. By Janell Hazelwood

The stats have been regurgitated what seems like a million times but the fact remains: The tech industry still has much more work to do to ensure that the people behind the tech advancements we enjoy–and those who control and manage the revenue garnered by their gatekeepers—are reflective and of service to a diverse community of consumers. The BIG Accelerator, a 12-week accelerator program hosted in Atlanta for tech (or tech-enabled) startups led by African-American women and Latinas is a program, created by digital undivided founder Kathryn Finney, that’s offering a venue for bridging enterprise and innovation.

The program had its first cohort in September and has provided startup training, access to more than 100 mentors and up to a year of office space at the BIG Innovation Center in Atlanta. Participants also have gotten the chance to interact with investors, a key component of the experience, as the organization’s focus is to put capital behind fueling the dreams and re-fueling the initial efforts of boss women of color. Sponsors include industry and government heavyweights like the SBA Growth Accelerator Fund, Surdna Foundation, Wells Fargo and Echoing Green. “We are champions of game changing innovation and disruptive ideas and are excited to continue our work in the city of Atlanta”, digitalundivided managing director Kathryn Finney told TechCruch in March.  “We look forward to being a vital hub for Atlanta’s emerging diverse tech community.”

The program will culminate in January with a demo day where entrepreneur participants will truly be put to the test and required to showcase all that they’ve learned and developed throughout the program. In other words, it’ll be time to show and prove.

One angel investor got the chance to see how far participants have come and expressed excitement about their futures. “One of my favorite things about being an angel investor (or at least the way I do it), is to look at startups across the US and internationally and compare and contrast ecosystems,” writes Barbara Clarke,  a social entrepreneur and angel investor with Astia Angels NY.  “As I watched them, I was haunted by digitalundivided’s #ProjectDiane report that documented how venture capital basically does not fund companies led by black or Latina women. It is imperative that the companies from BIG get exposure to enough investors to change this data.”

We second that notion!

Clarke, a Boston-based economist who has invested in companies across the United States, puts importance on the big picture and longterm outcomes when choosing a company to invest in. She has corporate and nonprofit experience that spans more than 10 years and has a passion for supporting women-led startups, focusing her investments on companies that have women founders. Read more about Clarke’s insights via and digital undivided via their Website.