Startups are constantly being founded, and today’s opportunities are trying to meet the growing demands. As a Black-business owner, here’s a great opportunity for USA startups to participate in an entrepreneurial training program to prepare for investment fundraising. During the seven-week program, cleantech startups will interact with active investors, mentors-in-residence, and fellow founders.

The current cohort is aimed at startups focusing on engineering and science innovations that create positive environmental impact through the innovation’s application or design, especially ventures that address sustainability priorities including climate change, air, and water pollution, food and transportation systems, waste management, and energy use. Companies should be preparing to raise seed or Series A rounds within the coming year.

ASPIRE is an intensive program that prepares startups for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their venture. Mentors-in-residence work one-on-one with startups to simulate due diligence conversations and integrate feedback into materials in real-time.

  • Engaged Mentorship: Startups will work with high-caliber mentors throughout the program that have experience investing or partnering with startups.
  • Clear Milestones and Ask: Startups will leave with a clear articulation of their investment needs, including the investment ask and planned milestones for the round.
  • Due Diligence Deal Room: Spend time creating and refining deal room materials to use during the fundraising process. Invest time and energy into work product for a deal room, not a demo day pitch.
  • Stress Tests: VentureWell pushes boundaries with real-world stress tests – actual startup disaster scenarios
  • Network Building: Learn from peers and share experiences with a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs who are facing similar challenges.


  • Spend one-on-one time with investors: Learn from a group of investor-mentors who have funded startups during the virtualized 8-week program.
  • Vet fundraising strategies: Refine deal room materials and take part in a mock board meeting to prepare for partnership conversations.
  • Stress-test the startup: Work through real-world disaster scenarios with the team to discover how to best prepare for the unexpected.
  • Collaborate and network: Meet with a portfolio manager weekly for deal room work sessions. Connect with fellow founders and leverage the VentureWell investor network after the program ends.