Providing clarity, capital, and connections to early-stage ideas

We're focused on accelerating solutions addressing economic inequality in the U.S.
Abi R., founder of of ImpactVision, speaks with her mentor Ime Archibong during the Chipotle Aluminaries Year 1 bootcamp.

We are laser-focused on economic inequality in the U.S.

In America today, our economy is out of balance. Significant wage gaps between men and women persist, particularly for women of color. Wealth is unequally distributed across the country, with Black households holding a fraction of the wealth of white households. And the percentage of venture capital dollars going to women-founded companies has barely budged in the last decade—the numbers are even worse for Black and Latinx founders.

The persistence of these economic inequities is not by accident, but rather the result of centuries of federal and state policies that have systematically tilted the playing field, enabling those with power and wealth to remain on top. When our economy favors some more than others, it holds us all back, so here at Uncharted we’re working toward a future where everyone in America has equitable access to the resources, tools, and opportunities they need to thrive.

Who our programs are for

We back early-stage ventures

We back early-stage ventures with proof of concept, or a scrappy pilot in place, and a readiness to grow. Then we provide the clarity, capital, and connections they need to make it to their next stage. At every juncture, we reject the prescriptive expectations that most early-stage ventures are forced to measure up to, including perfectionism, urgency, and provable outcomes. Instead, we give them time, space, and encouragement to think audaciously. 

In the current landscape, there are a number of programs designed for growth-stage ventures, and many of them trade ventures back and forth, but there is a gap in the market for seed- and early-stage ventures—that’s where we come in. We’ve been working with early-stage ventures for over 10 years. Equipping them to challenge the status quo is what we do best.

Our programs are business model agnostic

Our programs are open to social ventures, nonprofits, movement builders, advocacy organizations, coalitions, and hybrid models. While this might fly in the face of traditional accelerators that only serve one type of venture, we know that wicked problems require cross-sector collaboration. Addressing the root causes of economic inequality is nuanced and complicated work, and we refuse to let legal status limit solutions.

Too often, the biggest influence of organizational design is the type of capital it seeks, which means that organizational models end up at the mercy of funders and market trends. We push past these limits by nurturing ventures that think about the complexities of the problem first, before choosing the best organizational vehicle or capital structure to tackle it. In fact, sometimes we support our ventures in successfully pivoting their organizational models during, or after, a program.

We prioritize transformational change over incremental progress

We back early-stage ventures who are committed to transformational, durable change. We make big bets early on, and in many cases some of those bets don’t pay off for a few years, sometimes more, but when the ventures we support do eventually succeed they create deep and lasting impact.

There are plenty of programs and funders that already support less risky ventures with more moderate ambitions, but we believe that the most promising ventures are born out of contrarian insights and ideas that have yet to reach the mainstream. For many of our ventures, we are the first one in their corner. We believe in them and cheer them on when others can’t yet grasp their vision.

We recognize that underrepresented talent have unique insights into the problems we’re trying to solve

We are drawn to innovators who are tackling complex challenges, and who have unique insights on both how they should do it and why they should do it now. We look for thinkers and builders who deeply understand the problems they’re trying to solve—many of whom have firsthand experience. 

We recognize that founders who have lived the failures of our economic systems are better positioned to build an economy that works for all of us, so we seek out proximate leaders who can connect people and activate their communities in ways that are often overlooked when viewed solely through the dominant culture lens. In the last decade, 38% of our ventures have had at least one BIPOC co-founder and 53% of our ventures have had at least one female co-founder.

Our programs provide clarity, capital, and connections

Our approach is rooted in empathy. We have deep respect for the founder journey, and we are committed to equipping our ventures with the tools they need to succeed, namely clarity, capital, and connections. 

We offer the training, mentorship, and self-reflection practices entrepreneurs need to validate their assumptions and refine their organizational models. Many of our founders don’t have lucrative family and friends networks to tap into for capital, so we teach them how to look at fundraising in new ways. We help them strengthen their funding requests and then we introduce them to some of the leading funders and investors in the space. 

The early stages of building a venture can be lonely and uncertain, so we give our founders a place to find community, both in-person and online. We surround them with industry experts, including individuals with unique insights into the less visible forces that perpetuate economic inequities, like racial, gender, and class biases. From these connections, they build lifetime networks to turn to for professional and personal support.
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