In a new profile on Fast Company, Lupe Fiasco revealed new plans to start a one million dollar search for an entrepreneur who can assist in improving poverty-stricken and marginalized neighborhoods. With Di-Ann Eisnor, an angel investor and Google Waze executive, they named their project the Neighborhood Start Fund and plan to start in Brownsville, New York on Nov. 13.
“The energies of these people and others will come together at that space in an unprecedented sort of business pitching competition. Eisnor, Fiasco, and other judges will hear business ideas from would-be Brownsville entrepreneurs. Finalists in the competition (Brownsville residents can apply here) will compete for $5,000 to turn ideas into prototypes, and will also have access to mentorship and free technology services.”
On a recent Thursday, Eisnor says in the story that she has listened to numerous pitches from Brownsville locals and many of them were promising.
“I’m already so happy with the ideas that are coming out. There’s something interesting in each of them, and they were viable.” Some of the ideas that were pitched are a subscription box service, ride-share service for seniors, and on-demand beauty service. “Every entrepreneur was black (most, too, were women).”
The Neighborhood Start Fund will run on two concepts in order for it to succeed. “The first is to look for ideas in overlooked neighborhoods. The second is a financial mechanism designed to redirect profits from a successful Brownsville startup (or a Compton startup, or Anacostia startup) right back into the economy of Brownsville (or Compton, or Anacostia).” All of the profits that the project makes will go back into the neighborhood to help the local economy become more sustainable.
Eisnor and Fiasco plan to develop the Neighborhood Start Fund into a $100 million dollar company. They also hope to be in a dozen neighborhoods by the end of 2016. Head over to Fast Company to read the whole story.