The Atlanta Ascend 2020 program will launch and scale high growth minority-owned businesses in inner city and low-income census tracts throughout the Atlanta Metro Area through an Opportunity Ecosystem (OE). The OE is an inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment ecosystem-building platform designed for colleges, universities and municipalities to build thriving hyper local, yet globally interconnected, startup communities for all.


Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center (MCEC) is a unit of Morehouse College, a historically black, private liberal arts institution for men located in Atlanta, Georgia. MCEC is a global model for higher education and industry collaborations—programs that connect education with student leadership development and community-focused resources and support. MCEC’s programs and services have one goal—to increase minority-owned small businesses. Over the past 10 years, the MCEC has partnered with some 15 mentoring companies. This effort has assisted more than 80 protégé companies across the United States to achieve sustained growth and add jobs.

TechSquare Labs (TSL) is an incubator, seed fund and 25,000-square-foot co-working and corporate innovation space. TSL is driven to “Build Something From Nothing” with companies ranging from two people and a laptop to established enterprises looking to stay ahead of the pack. TSL reaches its goals by combining experience in patents, research, and inclusive team-building with a network that spans from freshman coders to Fortune 500 CEO’s. TSL is also home to CodeStart, Techhire and the Katherine G. Johnson Fund—a $100 million scholarship fund launched to provide full tuition scholarships to The Iron Yard and Code Fellows coding schools throughout the country. TechSquare Labs’ portfolio and incubated companies have raised over $250 million in venture capital, creating more than 500 high-growth jobs.

The Village Micro Fund is a grassroots microfinance organization with the mission to empower entrepreneurs in Metro Atlanta by providing access to capital, business education, and a “Village” of support.

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) is a non-profit organization that provides loans and business-development resources to help borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses which generate jobs. ACE began providing microloans in 2000 to businesses starting up or expanding. In 2004, ACE was certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). With an initial focus on small business loans under $50,000, the loan fund has grown strategically to meet demand and gaps in access to capital.

Join Atlanta Ascend 2020

We would love to hear about your business or organization. Apply here to receive more information about ways your organization can be involved with Ascend 20220.