JAKAPA wins UMSL’s $50,000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Accelerator Award

JAKAPA is proudly joining a network of new companies recognized by the University of Missouri St. Louis as the best and brightest underrepresented entrepreneurs with creative solutions, technologies, and business models for improving the region’s economic disparities.

As a winning founder team, we received $50,000 in non-dilutive capital and access to a best-in-class business development program which includes access to networks, mentors, subject matter experts, and customized educational support. Our award not only provided funding we have used to continue to develop our platform, but also provides two paid interns for a total of 320 hours to assist with marketing and programming. UMSL’s faculty provides research support, assistance with other grant applications and valuable guidance to help us scale our business.

Other benefits include various in-kind technology support and direct resources, free dedicated workspace during the program, and regular networking meetings where local business professionals offer advice and support. Our CEO, Gavin Pringle, is attending an 8-week exclusive customized business development program where he learns from local professionals. We also enjoy weekly meetings with a Laura Burkemper, the owner of the Catalyst Center and a professor at St. Louis University’s graduate business program. At the conclusion of the program, JAKAPA will have the opportunity to showcase our business to community members, UMSL students and faculty, and potential third-party investors on their Demo Day.

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