US-based start-up program NewME Accelerator has secured venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a sponsor, joining the likes of Google, HP and social networking site Tagged.
Operating out of San Francisco, NewME describes itself as “a residential technology start-up accelerator/incubator for businesses that are led by underrepresented minorities in the technology industry”.
According to NewME, only one 1% of internet start-up founders are African-American, so the NewMe program aims to increase exposure to talent and connect founders to early stage capital.
Although the program didn’t provide seed funding, its first ten companies have collectively raised more than $600,000.
NewME boasts an impressive list of mentors and speakers including The Lean Startup author Eric Ries, Doug Williams of Twitter, Laurence Toney from Zynga, and TechStars’ David Cohen.
It also counts Google, HP and Tagged among its 2012 sponsors. US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is now also on that list.
“We’re excited to announce one of the top venture capital firms in technology, Andreessen Horowitz, as our most recent partner,” NewME partner Wayne Sutton wrote in a blog.
“The partnership includes sponsorship of the accelerator as well as mentorship and speaker dinners with NewME founders.”
“Consistent with the NewMe mission, the partnership will also include sourcing and referring top minority technology talent to the firm’s talent agency.”
The NewMe Accelerator is a 12-week program, during which time participants “eat, sleep and breathe start-ups”. No more than eight start-ups participate in the program at any one time.
“Eight start-ups from across the country will spend 12 weeks with us building and learning,” NewMe says on its website.
“If you’re one of the lucky eight, you’ll be bunked up with us in a house in Mountain View for the summer, where we’ll spend 24 hours a day sleeping, eating and drinking our start-ups.”
“Some of the industry’s elite will participate in private weekly dinners where founders and speakers will break bread over conversations about what it really takes to build a successful start-up.”
“Founders will get to tap some of the brightest minds in the Valley and work with them one-on-one on specific issues they may encounter.”
“After spending the summer nitpicking over design, code and the many ingredients that go into building an awesome product, the program will conclude with a demo day.”
“Participating start-ups will get to show their wares to angel investors, VCs and many others from the start-up community.”