Morehouse Alumni form BlackStartup and win fellowship from Yale Entrepreneurial Institute

Company Geared To Build African-American Entrepreneurs Selected For Prestigious Award

BlackStartUp created by a group of Morheouse Alumni

NEW HAVEN, CT (March 6, 2013) – BlackStartup, a crowdfunding site focused on assisting African-Americans in securing funders for their entrepreneurial endeavors, was awarded the 2013 summer fellowship by the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.

The company is the first Black-owned business to ever get the Summer Fellowship, 
which is open to students and faculty across Yale’s 14 schools. It is limited to the 10-12 most promising businesses on campus and 2013 was the most competitive year in the history of the fellowship. Since 2007, YEI has supported the formation of 52 student-founded ventures, which have raised over $60 million of outside investment capital.

By winning the fellowship, the company, whose website is located at www.blackstartup.com, will receive an initial investment up to $20,000. In addition to the award, the YEI will assign the company mentors who have extensive experience in business, especially startups, and they will be put through a 10-week business boot camp this summer to better craft and hone their skills.

The company is comprised of six Morehouse College graduates: Nathan Bennett-Fleming (’07), Elgin W. Tucker (’07), Bola Adewumi (’09), Kyle S. Yeldell (’06), Christopher G. Hollins (’07) and Aaron A. O’Brien (’06).

Bennett-Fleming, who was recently elected as the Shadow Representative of Washington, DC, serves as Chief Executive Officer. He received his J.D. from University of California, Berkeley and his Master’s of Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition to public office, he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law.

Tucker, who serves as Chief Operating Officer, is currently earning his Master’s of Environmental Management from Yale University. He graduates in 2014. Tucker has also received his J.D. from Vermont Law School, the nation’s top environmental law program.

Adewumi is the Chief Technology Officer and currently works as the Director of Foreign Operations for Austin Consulting in Atlanta, GA.

Yeldell serves as Chief Communications Officer and received his Master’s of Professional Studies from Georgetown University’s Sports Industry Management program. He currently works as Program Activities Coordinator for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Foundation in Washington, DC.

Hollins, who graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse, is the Chief Strategy Officer. He is currently in a joint degree program: J.D. from Yale University and MBA from Harvard University. Both programs are considered the top program in the country, respectively. He graduates in 2013.

O’Brien serves as pro bono counsel and earned his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He currently works as a corporate and commercial law attorney for Baker & Hostetler, LLP in Cleveland, OH.

In addition to attending Morehouse together, all six members of the company are members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

The company is also already active on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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