90 Bay Area companies supported.
36 businesses accelerated.
21 new investments.
At ICA, 2021 was all about growing our support for Bay Area entrepreneurs. Collectively, we weathered another pandemic year of loss, uncertainty, and change. But together, with grace and mutual support, we made it through and were able to support more entrepreneurs than ever. As we get ready for 2022, we’re continuing to bet big on women founders and entrepreneurs of color.
In 2021 ICA:
Designed programming to serve more great businesses, earlier. This year we created the Lab at ICA, a new accelerator program for early-stage companies, which helped 24 companies develop a growth road map. This program extends the on-ramp so that ICA can meet emerging companies earlier and help them grow.
- Introduced a new financial product, ICA Seed Capital, to make seed-level equity investments in companies who graduate from The Lab. In 2021 we made 11 new Seed Capital investments, all in women-of-color owned businesses: Charlotte Truffles, The Final Sauce, GDS Cloth Goods, GloGirl Cosmetics, Oakland Craft Company, Teas with Meaning, Forest & Flour, Brash, Munchrooms, Avocurl, and Maker Studio.
- Deployed $3.8M in investment capital, more than doubling the size of our investment portfolio. 70% of this capital went to women founders and nearly 80% went to entrepreneurs of color. We made Growth Capital investments in Don Bugito, Something Better Foods, Goal Five, Global Grub, Courtsmith, Renewal Mill, and Progeny Coffee, as well as three more to be announced in January, in addition to the 11 Seed Capital investments.
- Connected 10 high-growth companies with investors at our Pitch Event. The pitch event, offered on-demand, for the first time introduced over 120 new investors to ICA partner companies selected for their mission-alignment, scalability, and leadership. If you're looking to invest, it's not too late.
- Launched our first case study, featuring Firebrand Artisan Breads, one of the first companies to join our portfolio back in 2015. This story provides an in-depth look at the journey of an ICA partner entrepreneur and the growth of this inspiring, community-focused company.
- Went brick-and-mortar for the holidays. In November, we launched the ICA Concept Store, our first-ever pop-up featuring great gifts from over 30 businesses in the ICA Community. If you still have shopping to do, the ICA Concept Store is open through the end of year—stop by!
- Grew our team to meet the moment. This year we brought on 4 new team members and 2 interns and will be welcoming 2 more staff in January 2022.
- Grew our financial strength to support ICA’s mission for the long term. In 2021 we brought in 10 new funding partners who believe that ICA’s model of coaching, capital, and connections is critical to a diverse and thriving Bay Area.
From all of us at ICA, we wish you a restful end of 2021 and a rejuvenating new year. Thank you for being part of this community, and sharing our bold vision to invest in diverse founders for a more equitable Bay Area. 2021 was monumental, but we’re just getting started.
Happy New Year!