About WEPOWER

We partner with Black and Latinx communities to build power to re-design education, health, economic, and justice systems to be just and equitable for all. One of the ways we work with communities to build power is through entrepreneur support.

We invest in startups ready for scale and provide curriculum, coaching, and connections as they spark wealth-creating job growth in communities with whom we partner.

We engage the community through facilitating meaningful connections and amplifying residents voices to inform critical decisions that impact their lives. We also train community members to create new policy solutions, advocate, and lead change. We envision a future where we all have to power to lead, so every community prospers.

About the Opportunity

WEPOWER will soon launch our inaugural Elevate Accelerator for early stage companies who are ready to scale their companies. Our accelerator will support a cohort of 10 early stage companies over a six-month cycle. Throughout the six-months, companies will access workshops (designed by Village Capital), a team of mentors, connections to technical service providers (legal, finance, HR, marketing), community-building experiences, and coaching from a dynamic and experienced Coach. By the end of the six-months, companies will: (1) be investment ready, (2) attracting new capital, (3) and scaling their companies.

WEPOWER has a targeted focus on Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with companies less than three-years old, have launched with an MVP, have some early traction, and ready to scale but limited access to capital and support.

Whether you’re an investor, industry executive, attorney, policymaker, or have other expertise, venture teams can use your experiences and networks to help them and their ventures become better. A mentor is a seasoned professional or entrepreneur with a variety of skills and backgrounds.

You understand that there are many complexities with starting and scaling a new venture and have stories of how you overcame obstacles and learned from your failures. Not only do you offer wisdom, experience, and grit, you know and represent the power of humility and empathy.

You are a member of a mentor team that is made up of a mix of people who have helped grown successful companies, worked with venture back companies, have experienced being founders of color, and/or successfully navigated difficult professional situations. You also have and share your self-care routines, time management systems, and other ways you stay balanced enough to run your business and/or lead change, care for your family, and serve in your community.

Ideal Areas of Expertise

WEPOWER seeks to build diverse and dynamic advisory boards made of people with one or more of the following areas of expertise.

  • Entrepreneur Support
  • Administration & Management
  • Start-Up Experience
  • Founder of a Successful Venture
  • Raising Capital & Investment Management (i.e. due diligence)
  • Mental Health/Wellness
  • IT/Technology Development Strategy* (contingent upon type of venture)
  • Selected by Venture Founder(s)
  • Expert in the Industry Area of the Venture
  • Change Management

Expected Commitment

As a member of the mentor team for one of WEPOWER’s early-stage companies, you will be expected to commit to six months of engagement. The first month will involve a two-hour on-boarding experience and venture match-making process. The next five months will involve monthly 90-minute to two-hour mentoring sessions with founders of a specific early-stage company team and the other mentors.

After the Six-Month Journey, We Will Celebrate…

  1. Support of a venture with achieving tangible and measurable growth including reaching 2-3 agreed upon milestones throughout the accelerator program.
  2. The venture team feeling supported and empowered to lead venture growth and prepared to navigate challenges and opportunities beyond the formal accelerator program.

You Will...

  • Serve as a broker between the venture team and your network and provide meaningful connections and introductions.
  • Continuously affirm the venture team, their identity, abilities, and potential to achieve impact and growth.
  • During advising sessions, serve as a partner on strategy development, problem solving, accountability around reaching key milestones and benchmarks, network building, and social emotional wellbeing.

You Have Some of the Following Experiences & Skillsets...

  • Have connections in the community (business, media, political, philanthropic/foundations, nonprofit, civic, grassroots)
  • Have great leadership qualities (team/bridge builder, good communicator, strategist, visionary/big picture thinker, facilitator, achiever and results oriented)
  • Have real-life success stories of how you’ve had to apply the advice you’re sharing.
  • Have spent time helping to improve the community through acts of service
  • Are an expert in one of the the areas listed in the section above.
  • Have experience with and are comfortable engaging and supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are often underrepresented and underestimated.

Benefits

We acknowledge that you will be sharing your time and talent with WEPOWER and the venture team you support. That’s an invaluable contribution, and we want to acknowledge you as a member of the WEPOWER family. Checkout of the benefits of being an Advisory Board Member:

  • Access and introductions to St. Louis’ Black and Latinx startups
  • Ability to network with like-minded professionals and business experts
  • Featured on our website as “Startup Advisors”
  • Hands-on experience with helping to build startups from the ground up
  • Bi-annual celebration events

Advisory Board Process

  • ROUND 1: Complete volunteer application and, if selected, all safety and compliance documents.
  • ROUND 2: Attend exploratory meeting with the WEPOWER team.
  • START: Attend the on-boarding experience.