Morgan Stanley has committed to a £1 million investment to expand its Multicultural Innovation Lab across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
First launched in the US in 2017, the Lab acts as an accelerator programme that targets companies with women or ethnic-minority founders that have the potential to develop technology to promote "a more inclusive and sustainable future".
The US investment bank is targeting an inaugural Emea Lab cohort of five startups and has earmarked investments of £200,000 in each.
Each Lab is expected to run over a five-month period, culminating in a Demo Day, during which all participants can present to a network of investors.
Clare Woodman, Morgan Stanley’s head of Emea, says that over the last ten years, less than three percent of the venture capital funds invested in UK went to teams of all-female founders and less than two percent to teams of all-ethnic minority founders.
“Establishing a platform in London giving access to critical advice, experience and funding to women- and minority-owned enterprises is not only something we are well-positioned to offer, but also allows us to address a significant market inefficiency,” she says.
Since it was launched in the US in 2017, more than 50 startups have participated in the accelerator programme and have since gone on to raise over $80 million in additional funding.
The Emea Lab will begin taking participant applications from January 2022, with the first cohort of five startups starting the accelerator programme from August in Morgan Stanley’s Canary Wharf offices in London.