Less than 1% of all high-growth tech startups are led by Black and Latino entrepreneurs. Worse still, only a fraction of the pre-seed capital secured for growth.

the Black and Latino Angel Investment Fund was launched in 2020 by the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers School of Business in Newark and a group of accredited individual investors to provide the seed capital necessary for the growth and expansion of Black and Latino-owned technology companies.

On Wednesday, BLAIF announced Bank of America steps in to help by becoming an investor in the fund.

Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of CUEED and Founder of BLAIF, said he was pleased with the partnership.

“We are delighted to welcome Bank of America as an investor in the Black and Latino Investment Fund of New Jersey,” he said. “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.

Alberto Garofalo, president of Bank of America New Jersey, said the bank is eager to help — and notes that investments like this are just one part of Bank’s $1.25 billion commitment. of America for racial equality and economic opportunity.

“Access to capital remains one of the biggest challenges for minority-owned businesses,” Garofalo said. “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.

Richardson said fund managers are patient and optimistic impact investors who assess the potential growth and risk of these startups and help entrepreneurs realize their visions. This includes 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.

Richardson said the Black and Latino Angel Investment Fund is accepting applications from entrepreneurs in or related to New Jersey and New York, on a rolling basis. The group also accepts new accredited individual and institutional investors. To learn more about both, Click here.