Grants & Programs

We’re putting together a list of organizations that offer initiatives that could help you on your path to success. If you know of others that would be useful for our community, please let us know at

VIP-X/San Francisco is an accelerator open to Penn and Wharton students and alumni entrepreneurs who are developing their own ventures. This in-person four-month program runs twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. The venture must have demonstrated, measurable traction and be based in the San Francisco/Bay Area during their time in VIP-X/San Francisco. 

WAFFA held a Q&A session about the program with Irina Yuen, Senior Director of Venture Lab, and Ali Krantzler, Associate Director at Venture Lab. If you are a founder/co-founder of a startup and looking for a program in San Francisco to accelerate your business, here’s a recording of that session so you can learn more about applying in the future.

USA Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative – The USAWEC is a unique 5-month business leadership and management program run by the Center for Global Enterprise (CGE). Empowering women entrepreneurs, including those who have uneven access to high-quality learning, is a crucial component of CGE’s vision. The USAWEC blended-learning program equips a diverse cohort of 150 US-based female business owners with the skills needed to grow successful, resilient, and scalable businesses. (This got a thumbs up from a WAFFA member who participated).

Fearless Fund + Mastercard – Fearless Fund and Mastercard are partnering to launch a grant contest aimed at helping Women of Color business owners in cities across the U.S. with the needed funding and digital resources to build and bolster their businesses. The Fearless Foundation is a 501c3 organization where the primary objective is to increase entrepreneurial education through training, and empowerment that will lead African Americans to gain access to capita.

BK-XL is an early-stage startup accelerator program focused on BIPOC founders and based in Brooklyn. The accelerator is a partnership between the Social Justice Fund and Visible Hands. The ten-week accelerator will provide BIPOC founders with access to early-stage venture financing on best-in-class terms while providing office space and ongoing mentorship / support from investors and operators at Blue Pool Capital, Visible Hands, BSE Global, the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, and other partnering organizations. Up to $500k/company.

Hyper describes themselves as a radically different accelerator. They work with founders who have started building a product and are focused on distribution and hiring. They pair you with unicorn founders for four weeks who become your mentors and help you rethink growth and product. They work with up to 25 companies at a time.

PearX is an early-stage bootcamp for founders with high-potential ideas. They lead small-cohort 14 week programs. Their track record – in just 9 years, they’ve seeded 7 companies currently valued over $1B and 3 public companies.