Bank of America is now an investor in the Black and Latino Angel Investment Fund of New Jersey, which spun off from the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Rutgers Business School-Newark in 2020, the university announced on March 4.

BOA became an investor in February. Less than 1% of all high-growth tech startups are led by Black and Latino entrepreneurs, and little secure pre-seed capital for growth. The fund’s mission is to reverse this trend by institutionalizing fundraising among friends and family.

“We are delighted to welcome Bank of America as an investor in the Black and Latino Investment Fund of New Jersey,” said D. Lyneir Richardson, executive director of CUEED and founder of BLAIF, in a prepared statement. “Bank of America’s ongoing efforts to close the persistent gap in access to growth capital for underrepresented founders aligns with our strategy of investing in exceptional Black and Latino entrepreneurs with exceptional business ideas ready to grow. to evolve. We look forward to expanding our work.

Fund managers help entrepreneurs by securing additional capital; provide real-time situational mentoring; introduce potential customers, suppliers and other resources for growth; and managing additional capacity building with larger accelerators.

BOA’s investment in the fund aligns with its $1.25 billion commitment to support racial equality and economic opportunity by addressing issues of minority populations related to health, employment, to education, housing and capital inequality.

“Access to capital remains one of the biggest challenges for minority-owned businesses,” said Alberto Garofalo, president of Bank of America New Jersey. “By working together, we can create the conditions that allow new ideas to flourish, ensuring that the opportunities we want for all of our citizens and the strong economy we want for our community are within our reach.

BLAIF welcomes applications from entrepreneurs in New Jersey and New York, or those with ties to the region, on a rolling base.