Ann Arbor tech coworking space Cahoots is offering six diversity and inclusion scholarships that will provide recipients a year of free full-time space at Cahoots, valued at $5,100.
The scholarship encourages companies and founders who are part of minority groups or who don’t fit the “standard” tech company profile to apply. Businesses must also have a team of less than four people and less than $500,000 in external funding or annual revenue.
“We wanted to allow the applicants to self-identify so anyone who doesn't fit the typical tech profile could feel like they could apply, whether it’s [diversity through] financial, gender, race, or even education,” says Alison Todak, Cahoots managing director.
There is no deadline for the scholarships; applications will be reviewed and selected on a rolling basis. A committee of Cahoots members and other external companies will review applications and interview scholarship finalists.
The scholarships are funded in part by corporate sponsorships from companies including Comcast Business, and in part by Cahoots members. Todak says all Cahoots members were offered a 15% discount on their membership to assist with COVID-19 difficulties, but they also had the option to donate that discount to the scholarship fund if their finances allowed. Many members chose to donate the discount to the scholarship.
Todak says Cahoots members recognized the need to encourage more diversity in the tech industry and created a diversity and inclusion committee to lead the effort. This scholarship is the first step.
"We were looking for ways to help and this scholarship provides a home to get their business going,” Todak says. “Having different perspectives is going to bring in more value for all of the different companies at Cahoots.”
Interested entrepreneurs can learn more about the scholarship and apply at Cahoots' website.
Emily Benda is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Mike Hensel/In Motion Studios.