Every day, we write about tech startups raising millions and billions of dollars. However, it’s a different story for tech entrepreneurs from marginalized and underserved communities. Most of these entrepreneurs find it difficult to raise even a few thousand dollars to get their project off the ground.
Enter, Incub8next, a collaborative incubator project, has launched to help people and projects from underserved communities reach their full potential. Recognizing the need for tech development projects for people who have not had access to the resources, capital, connections, and experience needed to launch companies, Incub8next works to ensure that innovation knows no bounds for those in need of help getting off the ground.
The Incub8next team comes from many different perspectives, with key leadership from co-founder Arabian Prince, founding member of legendary rap group NWA and a longtime tech entrepreneur himself. He has teamed with Paul Hershenson, co-founder of the innovative software development firm Art+Logic, Matthew Walk, a pharmacist, and health.
When investors want to do social good or help traditionally marginalized communities, they often go with what they know. However, that’s not where the real innovation lies.
“I’m glad to hear about these kinds of initiatives, but the money often doesn’t go where it’s needed,” says Arabian Prince, who was a founding member of legendary rap group NWA and wears many hats as a veteran tech entrepreneur, business mentor, and co-founder of Incub8next.
Arabian continued, “Investors need to talk to those already at work in these communities and see who really needs help. They often don’t seem ready to go deep into the community. It’s easier to reach out to who they know or go with an idea that they think makes sense, not what matters to underserved communities.”
To change this, Arabian has teamed up with independent software developers Art+Logic, pharmacist, and health-tech expert Matthew Walk, and DJ, inventor, and sales/marketing maverick Aj Kang to found Incub8next, a social impact incubator. Incub8next is looking for entrepreneurs from marginalized communities whose ideas are ready to roll once they get capital and resources. These entrepreneurs could include the intrepid single mom with a parenting product ready for market, a preventative health app developer in need of FDA approval, or a digital content creator looking to monetize their work more effectively.
Incub8next will provide advisory services, fundraising assistance, and marketing support for select startups working to change lives by developing social impact technology in their communities or the world. Projects will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. “It’s not just about business or technology. It’s about making a difference,” notes Paul Hershenson of Art+Logic. “Helping entrepreneurs change and improve the world is oxygen for us. It keeps us invigorated and engaged in what we do.”
Art+Logic has a history of helping new tech entrepreneurs with an idea for a cool new product. “We pride ourselves both on tackling challenging projects and at working closely with innovators to help them articulate and realize their vision, even if they’re completely new to software development,” says Hershenson.
“We are looking at a new wave of entrepreneurship in the world,” Walk notes. “While the ‘unicorns’ are out there getting press and IPOs, there is a massive opportunity for small businesses to reach revenue of $5-100 million and be wildly successful without ever becoming a household name. These are the businesses I want to discover and be a part of.”
“There are people who have never gotten the opportunity but have everything else they need to succeed in business. With my background, I’ve conjured things out of thin air to make money, so I know the struggle,” Arabian Prince explains. “We want to cultivate and nurture that spirit by giving these inventors resources to implement their great ideas.”
Art+Logic has been designing and developing innovative custom software since 1991. They have built software for over 900 clients from a diverse set of industries including education, aerospace, music technology, consumer electronics, entertainment, financial services, and more. With a talent for coding “the impossible,” they are industry leaders in providing software solutions to companies like NASA, General Electric, Google, Apple, Intel, and Motorola