The Brooklyn Nets have been in the news for all of the wrong reasons lately. But lucky for you, this post has nothing to do with that controversial player who shall remain nameless. Instead, Clara Wu Tsai, founder of the Social Justice Fund and co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, and Barclays Center just announced a plan to support BIPOC entrepreneurs in Brooklyn.
BK-XL is a 10-week Brooklyn-based program that will offer financial investments, mentorship, office space and other support to early-stage startups founded by people of color. The program is the largest accelerator for BIPOC founders. Selected businesses will have access to up to $500,000 of early-stage venture financing, including an initial investment of $125,000 and $375,000 for meeting established growth benchmarks and remaining in Brooklyn.
For Clara Wu Tsai, BK-XL is a way to help level the playing field for BIPOC-owned businesses and encourage economic empowerment in Brooklyn, the place the Nets call home.
“Capital is one of the biggest impediments to wealth-building, particularly for BIPOC entrepreneurs,” Wu Tsai told the Associated Press. “We thought that investing in this segment was how we could create wealth, not only for the entrepreneurs but also through all the different jobs that they are going to create.”
In addition to the financial investment, participants will receive mentorship from investors at the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, and other participating organizations.
Applications for BK-XL will be open between December 5, 2022 and January 20, 2023. The program will run from mid-April of 2023 until late June of 2023.
“It will be a mix of grants, loans and investments into this borough which I think ultimately is going to result in strengthening the community and the building up of people,” Wu Tsai said.