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Native Entrepreneurs to Attend Dynamic Start-up Micro Accelerator at SXSW

Vanessa Roanhorse, Diné, is doing what she does best: ensuring indigenous and underrepresented founders have a seat at the table. Her Native American, woman-owned business, Roanhorse Consulting, LLC, has partnered with the social impact firm Generation Titans to bring entrepreneurs of color to Austin, Texas, for the inaugural Titan Generators event on Saturday, March 9, 2019. 

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The day-long event — coinciding with the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival — will serve as a collaborative, immersive program for start-up businesses led by entrepreneurs of color.

The event is powered by national social movement organizations including United We Dream, Color of Change, International Indigenous Youth Council, and March for our Lives to advise entrepreneurs of color on how to activate social change. Google and Evolve Entrepreneurship are also onboard the Titan Generator initiative — providing added momentum.

As a result of Roanhorse Consulting’s partnership with Generation Titans, eight primarily indigenous entrepreneurs from the Southwest will attend the event, including six from the state of New Mexico.

Currently, the racial wealth gap in communities of color stands that black families have eight times less wealth than white families, and Latino families have ten times less wealth than white families with a rapidly decreasing middle class.

“There are no measurements for Native American families, which is no surprise given the history of erasure of Native Americans in general. When it comes to Native American economic data, it is often outdated and difficult to interpret and/or collect,” Roanhorse said in a statement. “That erasure and lack of reliable data results in Native American communities to be continuously overlooked, marginalized by institutional racism, and excluded from access to capital by financial institutions that place barriers and stifle wealth building in tribal communities.”

The upcoming micro accelerator seeks to close that racial wealth gap by providing entrepreneurs of color with tools and support to succeed and to use their success for the benefit of their communities. The cohort will explore the intersection of social movements and entrepreneurship through creative activation; engage and collaborate with activists, entrepreneurs, funders, youth leaders, and influencers; and connect with resource partners around funding, social capital, amplification, partnerships, and pro bono support. 

“Our job is to build roads and bridges to opportunities, and partnering with Generation Titans is exactly the sort of community lift we do to ensure all voices are heard and we self-determine our own path,” said Roanhorse.

Vanessa Roanhorse’s company encourages economic empowerment from within Native America, and is committed to growing more indigenous and underrepresented founders. (Courtesy Roanhorse)

The Southwest Entrepreneurial delegation includes: Jaime Gloshay, co-Founder of Native Women Lead; Perscilla Frizzell, founder of Sacred Generations; Haley Laughter, founder of Hozho Total Wellness; Vanessa Bowen, founder of Bowen Creative; Stephine Poston, founder of Poston & Associates; Lee Francis IV, founder of Native Realities; Charles Ashley III, founder of Cultivating Coders; and Henry Jake Foreman, founder of Karuna Collectiva.

Pictured clockwise from top left: Vanessa Bowen, Haley Laughter, Henry Jake Foreman, Stephine Poston, Lee Francis and Jaime Gloshay.

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An online fundraising campaign has been set up to offset expenses associated with attending the event. To provide financial support for the delegation, visit https://bowencreative.co/indigenous-titans

Raymar Hampshire, founding partner of the dynamic startup micro- Generation Titans, commented:

“Generation Titans has had the distinct pleasure of working with several community partners on the Titan Generator, including Roanhorse Consulting, LLC. Through their tireless work, we’ve been fortunate to be connected to many successful native entrepreneurs from the Southwest. We look forward to amplifying the voices and supporting the work of these dynamic founders.We invite others to lock arms with us as we support the Indigenous Titans and we look forward to their participation at the Titan Generator!”

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