Chicago native Lupe Fiasco knows there's no reason why the next multimillion-dollar idea can't come from the 'hood, so he teamed with a Google exec to create the Neighborhood Start Fund budding entrepreneurs and startups. The program just expanded to two new Chicago-area communities, Englewood and Lawndale.
Lupe's co-founder, Di-Ann Eisnor, is head of growth for the Waze app at Google. "We're looking for very big good ideas. We want companies that can generate at least $100 million," Eisnor told the Chicago Tribune. "We want to create a real change, and to do that, we need some super-successful companies."
The neighborhood-specific fund is designed to provide workshops, mentoring and funding to ideas that have the potential to be lucrative. The idea is to then reinvest the profits back in to the communities. Launched in October 2015 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the fund is now available in nine neighborhoods.
Through September 2, participants in the specified cities can submit entries online to move to a pitch competition where $5,000 in funding is available to build a prototype. From there, the Neighborhood Start Fund could offer investments from $25,000 to $100,000.
Learn more about the Neighborhood Start Fund here.