Morgan Stanley Targets Women, Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs With MSIVL
Morgan Stanley has announced a doubling in the number of participants in its Inclusive Ventures Lab (MSIVL) in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). MSIVL is an accelerator program that invests in and works closely with startups led by women and founders from ethnic minorities.
During 2023, the MSIVL aims to identify 10 early-stage businesses selected from applicants across EMEA, who will be invited to participate in a bespoke five-month program designed to accelerate the business growth of each startup.
Last year, five emerging small companies were selected to be in the first cohort of the lab. This year Hungary, with its fertile startup sector and established base of diverse entrepreneurs running emerging high-growth companies, is being specifically targeted as a source of applications to the accelerator program.
Norbert Fogarasi, head of Morgan Stanley Budapest, said, “Morgan Stanley has been present in the Hungarian capital for 16 years, and has since become one the leading centers of technology and analytics for the global bank with over 3,000 employees. As such, we know first-hand that right across Hungary there are determined and inspirational people with great business ideas."
"We believe the MSIVL is a proven, unrivaled opportunity to overcome the barriers faced by many of our most promising entrepreneurs, to participate as part of a truly international cohort of like-minded people, and ultimately transform the growth prospects for their businesses,” he adds.
Applications for this year’s EMEA MSIVL, formerly known as the Multicultural Innovation Lab, open today for six weeks when a process to determine the final cohort of 10 startups will kick off. Businesses looking to take part in the initiative should demonstrate strong growth prospects in the development of innovative technology solutions that promote a more inclusive, sustainable future.
The lab started in 2017 in response to critical research showing that multicultural and female business founders faced systemic disadvantages, particularly in access to capital. In 2020, women-founded companies in Central and Eastern Europe received only 1% of venture capital investments, while 5% went to mixed founding and 94% to all male teams. In Hungary, the proportion of self-employed women in science, engineering and ICT is below 13%, the lowest in the EU.
MSIVL aims to address these disparities, not only through the bank’s equity investments in these early-stage high growth companies but also supporting their growth and development needs through the intensive five-month program involving Morgan Stanley mentors and advisers alongside external industry experts.
The program culminates in a Demo Day, where all participants get the opportunity to present to a network of investors brought together from across Morgan Stanley’s global networks. These investors can help provide further capital and cultivate strategic partnerships, to transform the development trajectory of the businesses.
The curriculum of the lab is English-language based. In the past five years, 69 companies from the United States and EMEA have participated in the programme, going on to raise over USD 150 million in additional funding.
Sanghamitra Karra, managing director and head of MSIVL in EMEA added, “The experience of this program to date has been inspirational in demonstrating the strong pipeline of women and minority entrepreneurs and the critical importance of dedicated growth capital and access to strategic advice and mentorship. Following the success of the 2022 program, we are very excited to double our efforts in the region and invest in up to 10 high-growth companies founded by entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.”
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