NEW YORK (February 18, 2021)—Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce the launch of "Black Venture Accelerator," a new pro bono program that will offer Black founders and Black-owned businesses pro bono legal services tailored to help their company progress to new heights, and additional business support and counsel to help them scale their ventures.
The Black Venture Accelerator's goal is to foster financial inclusion by providing access to sophisticated legal services as well as opportunities for growth. In addition to pro bono legal services, the inaugural program will offer creative and practical solutions to business challenges, mentorship, educational resources, networking opportunities, and connections to other needed professional services.
Led by a steering committee comprised of partners, associates, and diversity and inclusion specialists, lawyers from the firm's breadth of practices will provide holistic, comprehensive advice on issues typically faced by emerging companies across many industries, including Technology, FinTech, Life Sciences + Healthcare, Consumer Products + Retail, Food + Agriculture, Media + Entertainment, Energy + Infrastructure, and Real Estate.
"Black entrepreneurs have had to confront economic under-inclusion and unfair obstacles to full participation in the economy for too long. We believe access—not just to legal or professional services, but also networks—is a cornerstone of inclusion," said Morrison & Foerster corporate partner and leader of the Black Venture Accelerator Dario de Martino. "Morrison & Foerster has a longstanding commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, within the firm and in our communities. The Black Venture Accelerator will build on this commitment as we work together to demonstrate the importance of shaping a culture that respects and celebrates differences."
Applications to the program will be accepted starting today, with a submission deadline of March 19, 2021. Eligibility criteria and the application form can be found on our website. The MoFo Black Venture Accelerator team can be contacted at BlackVentureAccelerator@mofo.com. Additional resources for founders and businesses can be found on our Scale Up website.