Comcast NBCUniversal Grants $1.5M to Support Disabled Entrepreneurs

Comcast NBCUniversal and 2Gether-International (2GI), a leading nonprofit and startup accelerator for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities, have announced an extended partnership.

Comcast is enhancing its support by granting $1.5 million to power 2GI’s programming through 2025. This funding aims to equip disabled startup founders with essential tools and resources to lead in their industries. It will also help 2GI recruit and support more individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities across their programs and initiatives. Comcast’s contribution is part of Project UP, the company’s $1 billion commitment to connect people to the Internet, advance economic mobility, and create opportunities for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.

Entrepreneurship has become a promising career path for people with disabilities. A 2022 report from the National Disability Institute (NDI) highlighted that there are 1.8 million business owners with disabilities in the U.S. With 74 percent of people with disabilities outside the labor force, entrepreneurship is a vital employment option for this community. However, they often face challenges such as limited access to affordable startup capital and a lack of tailored support services and programs.

“We’re both excited and grateful for Comcast’s steadfast commitment and partnership,” said Diego Mariscal, CEO and Founder of 2Gether-International. “Our goal is to support 3,000 to 5,000 Disabled Entrepreneurs annually by 2030, and Comcast’s backing will be instrumental in achieving this. Their support has already led to increased program enrollment, community involvement, and recognition for 2GI. I look forward to reaching more people and addressing the systemic barriers faced by Founders with Disabilities.”

2GI plans to innovate and expand its programming to meet the evolving needs of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities at any stage of their business journey. Current initiatives include:

  • Cohorts for Founders with Disabilities: Selected participants, all Disabled Founders of early-stage, high-growth tech startups, participate in 2GI’s 10-week accelerator program to refine their pitch and business model. The program culminates in a pitch competition, offering entrepreneurs the chance to secure seed funding. Since 2019, over 80 startups have participated, collectively raising around $70 million from investments, revenue, and acquisitions.
  • Apprenticeship Program: In partnership with BuildWithin, a venture-backed technology company and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Apprenticeship Intermediary, 2GI is creating the first apprenticeship program for aspiring founders and startup executives with Disabilities. This initiative, supported by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides tailored on-the-job training and curriculum for roles such as Startup CEO and Startup CFO. The program is being incubated in Washington D.C.’s Apprenticeship Building America Innovation Hub.
  • First-Ever Disability VC Fund: 2GI is working to raise $5 million in philanthropic capital to launch the first venture capital fund specifically for startup Founders with Disabilities.

In 2022, Comcast and 2GI first partnered to launch 2GI’s Cohort Accelerator program, offering mentorship, coaching, investor connections, and other resources. Graduates have since raised millions in investment capital, created new jobs, and developed accessible technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

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