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Raynier Seed Fund for Underserved Founders

 Philadelphia Skyline

Drexel, Raynier, and SC Logos

Up to four investments of $25,000,
will be made three times per year

The Raynier Institute & Foundation, a Seattle-based philanthropic organization with Philadelphia roots, has partnered with Drexel University and the University City Science Center to improve access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia region.

“Inequity around access to capital is well-documented,” said Shintaro Kaido, Vice Provost for Innovation and Executive Director of Drexel Applied Innovation, who will be one of the administrators of the Raynier Seed Fund. “This seed fund, made possible by the Raynier Institute and Foundation to assist underserved founders, will be a great asset for Philadelphia to help increase the diversity of its innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Entrepreneurs: Email your pitch deck

Explanation of how the Raynier Fund works

The Raynier Seed Fund for Underserved Founders is seeking early-stage companies with the following criteria:

  • Qualified applicants to the program are defined as “Underserved founders” using the National Institute of Health Diversity definition.
  • Additional criteria include:
    • The applicant should be a for-profit C corporation
      • The Operations Team is making available optional legal assistance from a designated Community Partner law firm to convert from an LLC to a C Corporation for any investment recipients. Recipients may also choose to use their own legal representation for this work. Assistance for conversion back from C Corporation to LLC will also be made available. 
    • Headquartered or willing to work/operate within the 11-county Greater Philadelphia region
    • Startup or early-stage company that has not progressed beyond an early seed round of funding
    • Experienced team with at least one member of management working full time
    • Product or service does not violate any local, state, or national law

Entrepreneurs: Email your pitch deck   View FAQ Page

Kirthika Parmeswaran"At Vital Start Health, we have developed the first clinically-guided, equitable, and evidence-based platform for reproductive and maternity mental health using virtual reality. Being a winner of the Raynier Seed Fund has helped us make progress both on business development on the fertility end, launching a platform doing a coaching pilot, and getting insights on customer discovery."


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