MORGAN Stanley (NYSE: MS) has announced a doubling of the size of its Inclusive Ventures Lab (MSIVL or the “Lab”), an accelerator programme that invests in and works closely with start-ups led by women and ethnically diverse founders.
During 2023, the MSIVL aims to identify 10 early-stage businesses selected from applicants across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), who will be invited to participate in a bespoke five-month programme designed to accelerate the business growth of each start-up. Last year, five emerging small companies were selected to be in the first cohort of the EMEA Lab.
This year, Scotland, with its fertile start-up sector and established base of diverse entrepreneurs running emerging high-growth companies, is being specifically targeted as a source of applications to the accelerator programme.
Vida Rudkin, Head of Morgan Stanley Glasgow, said: “Having been here for over 20 years, Morgan Stanley knows that right across Scotland there are determined and inspirational people with great business ideas. We believe the MSIVL is a proven, unrivalled 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.”
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 start-ups will kick off. Businesses looking to take part in the initiative should demonstrate strong growth prospects in the development of innovative technology solutions which 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. Over the last ten years, less than 3% of venture capital funds invested in the UK went to teams of all-female founders and less than 2% to teams of all-multiculturalfounders.
The Lab 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 programme involving Morgan Stanley mentors and advisers alongside external industry experts. The programme 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.
In the past five years, 69 companies from the US and EMEA have participated in the programme, going on to raise over $150 million in additional funding.
Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director and head of MSIVL in EMEA added: “The experience of this programme 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 programme, we are very excited to double our efforts in the region and invest in up to ten high growth companies founded by entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.”
Further information on the Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Lab is available at www.morganstanley.com/msivl and applications open from 14th February.