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Diversity Fellowship Sponsors

Diversity Fellows.

Thanks to our Diversity Fellowship Sponsors, more than 20 Diversity Fellows are able to attend StartupBus this year!

Here are some of our top candidates:

McKenzie Slaughter

The Ocean-X Diversity Fellow

Since 2014 it's been my mission to increase diversity & inclusion in fintech and have been traveling, living in developing countries to advise and invest in emerging fintech and impact entrepreneurs (Kenya, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivorie, St. Lucia, Suriname, Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis).

At Beyond Capital Markets, I've helped build the fastest growing fintech and impact innovation ecosystem across the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and the Diaspora. My diversity & inclusion fintech journey started helping women build wealth via stock investing, in 2013 launched Beauty & The Bull a social trading and TV network for women.

More recent achievements include: Keynote Speaker at d10e Cayman Islands, Host of ICO4Impact Summit & Fintech Diaspora Forum, Co-Author of The Insurtech Book, Founding Member of Black Women in Blockchain Council, and Partner at Prohaus Capital (raising blockchain for impact VC Fund focused on developing countries, black blockchain entrepreneurs, and women in blockchain), and launching the first decentralized investment exchange platform for social impact at Beyond Capital Markets.

Courtney Surmanek

Consensys Social Impact Diversity Fellow

As an arts organizer and strategist, I create and support not-for-profits and community-based initiatives that center grassroots activism and social engagement, with a goal of creating alternatives to existing legal constructs and social norms. Specifically, those that limit freedoms for LGBTQIA* communities, immigrants, and people of color.

In the next year, I hope to embark on a journey of previously unimagined, even unimaginable, leaps in the direction of justice. I know that the most vulnerable path is through embracing and considering my identity as a queer, non-binary person as inextricably linked with this work.

I realized this after participating in three fellowship programs this past year focused on social justice: the Art & Law Program, the Center for Artistic Activism’s Art Action Academy at the Queens Museum and Queer Resistance at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. The beauty of an initiative like StartupBus is the possibility for its diverse participants to forge unique bonds and opportunities, under immense time constraints, for mutual learning, understanding, and co-creation.

Nicolas Varela

StartupBus Diversity Fellow

Since 2014, I co-founded and direct the NGO “Argentinean Network for Public Service” (www.redargentina.org). Our objective is to create a network of young and committed citizens across the country who wants to create positive change and take action.

Within the NGO we organized annual national conferences for students to meet public officials, renowned professors, leaders of the public and private sector and activists. During the 4 days of the conference, the participants have to form teams, create a project and pitch their idea to a judges panel. The best three projects obtain seed capital to start their projects. Moreover, we organize a mentoring project and different volunteer work. The NGO inspired a social movement now present in 12 Latin American Countries.

Within this NGO, we were selected as one of the best social projects in the Western Hemisphere by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) a fund that supports initiatives that promote innovative solutions to global challenges.

Disrupting the status quo is our mission.

Taking advantage of being a hackathon on wheels, we can bring communities physically and directly together, and engage in a meaningful cultural and knowledge exchange face to face.

Our national team of conductors is composed of 40%+ women, with diverse ethnicities represented.

We Believe:

Entrepreneurs from low-income and marginalized communities have the deepest understanding of problems in their communities.

Their unique perspectives enables them to develop solutions that address the root causes of systemic problems.

Given the right mix of opportunities, tools, and mentorship, these entrepreneurs have the most potential to ignite change.

Success stories inspire others to imagine “better” and see themselves in positions of sustainable influence, ultimately paving new paths to change.

Are you a potential Diversity Fellow?

###Interested in applying for the program?

In your StartupBus application, address all three aspects of the prompt in 250-500 words:

  • Explain how you are culturally, ethnically, or racially diverse.

  • How has your unique background allowed you to make significant contributions to your community and how will you continue doing so?

  • How will you support our mission to advocate for an inclusive, diverse, and accepting community?

Apply for StartupBus


About StartupBus

StartupBus believes that entrepreneurship can't be taught but it can be learned through unique experiences.

Want to partner with us?

Email us at directors@startupbus.com.