Impact X-Venture Studio: Accelerating underrepresented startups

Impact X-Venture Studio: Accelerating underrepresented startups

With more unicorns than France and Germany combined, the UK has no shortage of innovative entrepreneurs. Yet investment remains a challenge – especially for founders from minority groups. That is why Impact X – a venture capital firm founded to support underrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe – partners with Microsoft to launch Impact X-VentureStudio.

The initiative will make tools and funding available to startups to help them accelerate their businesses. Sustainability is a key goal, and Impact X-Venture Studio works with Spring Innovation, the water sector center of excellence. Spring Innovation’s mission is to accelerate the transformation of the water industry.

By combining the expertise and skills of Impact X, Microsoft and Spring Innovation, Impact X-Venture Studio hopes to achieve three main objectives: to unlock the potential of large-scale technology startups; help address the most pressing challenges facing the water sector; and ensure fairer representation of minority groups in the start-up space. And I hope to find a unicorn in the process.

Rebalance investments for underrepresented groups

Research shows that in recent years more than 90% of the total amount of venture capital raised went to white entrepreneurs, while only 0.24% went to black contractors and only 0.02% of investment goes black founders.

“There are a lot of great startup ideas and a lot of great founders out there,” says Eric Collins, CEO of Impact X. “But often, we find that the biggest challenge founders face is getting those early trials and corporate deals that are truly game-changing for fundraising and long-term success.”

Impact X CEO Eric Collins shakes hands with delegates at an event

“An enterprise builder like the one we’re creating with Microsoft can really pull those threads together and short-circuit the long, arduous process that puts those initial contracts in place,” he adds.

Impact-X Venture Studio: Empowering Entrepreneurs

“Impact X intends to create a small cohort of diversely-led startups that can drive things forward in terms of efficiencies, optimizations, and innovation in the water industry,” says Collins.

Research revealed that business builders who directly engage entrepreneurs with industry challenges are beginning to outperform traditional accelerators. Recent data show that 72% of startups of venture capitalists moving from seed funding to Series A funding have been successful – compared to just 42% of traditional startups. Overall, the entrepreneur’s approach achieves 44% better results compared to traditional start-ups.

“A company builder like the one we are creating with Microsoft can bypass the long and arduous process of setting up initial contracts.”Eric Collins, CEO and Co-Founder, Impact X

“Impact X exists to uncover extraordinary founders and empower them to generate double ROI,” says Collins. “We believe Impact X-Venture Studio with Microsoft not only increases the likelihood of this outcome, but also significantly reduces the time frame.”

Make a splash with water innovation

The initiative comes at a critical time. Climate change and water scarcity are forcing water companies and the wider sector to adapt and invest heavily in water supply and wastewater treatment. THE Water Innovation Strategy 2050 data-contrast=”auto”>—which Spring Innovation is working towards – emphasizing the importance of finding sustainable solutions.

“To make real progress on our greatest societal challenges, we need innovative solutions, a diversity of ideas, and equal access to entrepreneurial opportunities that can turn ideas into action.”Musidora Jorgensen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Microsoft

These challenges will range from how the water industry could become positive through natural capital opportunities, minimizing the negative impacts of wastewater, and how the industry can improve water affordability. for everyone.

Durable solutions are a important goal for Microsoft. To make real progress on our biggest societal challenges, we need innovative solutions, a diversity of ideas, and equal access to entrepreneurial opportunities that can turn ideas into action,” explains the Chief Development Officer. sustainability from Microsoft, Musidora Jorgensen. “Through industry partnerships, we can both provide opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs and tackle critical sustainability challenges head-on related to water availability and security..

Building for a sustainable future

Carly Perry, Managing Director of Spring Innovation, said: “Spring is delighted to represent the water industry in the UK and Ireland in this exciting collaboration with Microsoft Venture and Impact X. We hope Impact X-Venture Studio in partnership with Microsoft demonstrates water companies’ commitment to engage and support innovative start-ups and will lead to increased representation of innovative start-ups in the sector.

The safety, security and availability of water are fundamental to sustainability,” says Eric Collins. “Partnering with Microsoft to address this area of ​​opportunity brings together one of the great technology companies with the innovative sourcing talent of Impact X. The impact on sustainable solutions is potentially enormous.

Tailor-made mentoring and expert advice

Microsoft is looking for its early entrepreneurs and start-ups to launch these industry challenges, providing support including $150,000 in free Azure credits, expert guidance from technical advisors and Azure specialists, free workspace at Shoreditch and tailored mentoring.

Jimmy Cockerton, UK Head of Innovation and Startups at Microsoft, said: “It has been a real privilege to lead Microsoft, Impact X and Spring Innovation to help drive innovation in the water and water sector. diversity within the startup community”.

“Through Impact X-Venture Studio in partnership with Microsoft, I’m excited to see how we can rapidly innovate with our enterprise customers while accelerating startup growth through revenue generation. This is a incredible opportunity to bring companies and start-ups together to have a greater impact on people and the planet.”

Learn more

To learn more about the Impact X-Venture Studio in partnership with Microsoft, you can visit the corporate studio section on their homepage.

Key words: inclusiveness, Innovation, investment, representation, startups, sustainability, technology, CV, water, water industry

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