Friends and Family #1

A weekly newsletter amplifying pitch competitions, accelerators that include funding, and grant opportunities for founders across the globe.

Hi all,

Welcome to the very first edition of the Friends and Family newsletter. I created this newsletter after publishing a spreadsheet titled “Commitments to Action for Black Founders”in which I aggregated commitments to action for Black founders from the Tech/VC community. I have recieved a ton of feedback since sharing that sheet and many founders expressed that it was actionable and helpful so I wanted to continue aggregating information that would lead to founders getting the cash they need to build and grow their businesses.

A little about myself, my name is Denisha Kuhlor. I am first-generation Ghanaian American and grew up in CT. During the day I spend my time working on democratizing access to high quality business banking for founders and investors at Grasshopper Bank. In between, I write about music fandom with my other newsletter Stan and am generally passionate about all things interesecting music, technology and Africa.

Friends and family is a weekly newsletter where I will share information about pitch competitions (w/ cash prizes), accelerators (w/funding) and grant information for founders across the globe. While founders will not be eligible for every opportunity the goal is to consistently share actionable programs and funding sources that founders can take advantage of. As this is the first edition and I am very much new to publishing this I welcome any and all feedback on the format of this newsletter, the opportunities I share, and leads on programs or funding sources that I should amplify. Please forward to a founder who would find this information useful.

Organized By Deadline: Click on underlined link.

June 19, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST | Mucker Lab Accelerator

Amount: Ranges. $21k-$150k

  • A bespoke accelerator investing at the earliest stages of a companies lifecycle (including first institutional capital). The accelerator is focused on helping compaines achieve product-market fit in preparation to raise institutional venture financing.

    Eligibility: Open to companies globally. Companies must spend the majority of programs Muckers offices in either Los Angeles or Nashville.

June 30, 2020 | African Cup Pitch Competition by South African Innovation Summit

Amount: Unclear (opportunity to pitch for funding)

  • A pitch competition put on by the South African Innovation Summit the Africa Cup aims to promote and develop the entrepreneurial creativity of startups who are disrupting the traditional ways of doing business. This is an opportunity for all early stage startups with high growth potential, scalability, and expansion plans to showcase their technologies while obtaining access to funding, new markets, and PR exposure.

    Eligibility: Open to companies globally.

June 30, 2020 | Amber Grants

Amount: $4k

  • Amber Grants began in 1998 in honor of Amber Wigdahl, who died before fulfilling her dreams. Each month we award an Amber Grant of $4,000, and one of our 12 monthly recipients receives an additional $25,000 Amber Grant

    Eligibility: Women owned businesses based in the United States.

June 30, 2020 | Poise Bounce Back Startup Grant

Amount: $15k

  • Poise® Brand is awarding 30 individual grants of $15,000 to help female entrepreneurs bounce back from financial hardships they’ve experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 of which have already been filled. Now through June 30, Poise Brand is accepting applications for 20 additional grants supporting women-owned businesses.

    Eligibility: Women owned businesses based in the United States that have less than 500 employees.

July 1, 2020 | Arch Grants Global Startup Competition

Amount: $50k (early stage to seed, all industries)

  • A global startup competition spanning all industries for early stage companies.

    Eligibility: 51% of the founding team or one founder and 51% of the team needs to live in St. Louis for the program year. The business needs to locate headquarters or significant operations in the St. Louis.

July 3, 2020 | Glossier Grant for Black Owned Beauty Businesses

Amount: $15k (pre-launch), $30k (early-stage), $50k (growth stage)

  • A grant initiative by Glossier for black owned businesses.

    Eligibility: U.S based businesses, 51% or more black owned. Founder must be 18+ and the business must sell physical beauty products (cosmetics, products or tools for face, body or hair)

July 3,2020 | Vinetta Project DC Venture Challenge

Amount: $20K

  • Pitch competition for DC based women founders. Vinetta's Venture Challenge is a 3-part pitch competition series featuring the best in high growth potential, women-led startups. Watch and learn as Vinetta’s panel of elite investors and seasoned CEOs ask tough questions and deliver actionable feedback.

    Eligibility - Female founders building tech companies based in DC.

Rolling | Black Founder Startup Grant

Amount: (3) $10k grants (6) $5k grants.

  • A grant program for Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs. Awardees will also receive tactical help navigating the fundraising environment at large so that they will have a more equitable opportunity at scaling the next billion dollar idea. They will also receive lifetime “ask-me-anything” access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams.

    Eligibility: –Founders should self-identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur, have a legally registered business, plan to seek investor financing in order to scale, now or in the future, have a scalable, high-impact solution or idea with the ambition to be the next billion dollar business.

Rolling | Mozilla COVID-19 Solutions Fund

Amount: $50k

  • Through this fund, Mozilla will provide awards up to $50,000 each to open source technology projects which are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in some way.

    Eligibility: Will accept applications from any type of legal entity, awardees are expected to use all funds within three months of receiving the award.

As always if I can be helpful shoot me an email at

D (@denishakuhlor)