Village Capital

Climate Justice for Migrants & Communities of Color

Building inclusive solutions for immigrants, refugees, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by climate change in the US.

About the Program

Climate Justice for Migrants & Communities of Color is an investment readiness program that will support startups building inclusive solutions for immigrants, refugees, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by climate change in the US. In partnership with the World Education Services (WES) Mariam Assefa Fund, this accelerator empowers entrepreneurs to support communities and their leaders in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a wide range of natural disasters, including but not limited to heat waves, extreme cold, flooding, droughts, hurricanes, and air pollution.

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Inclusive Solutions for Migrants and Communities of Color

Village Capital is looking for 10-12 startups focused on addressing:

  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery (Climate tech, Insurtech & Fintech) by measuring climate data and insights, forecasting climate needs, transforming how energy is generated, transmitted, consumed, stored or managed (infrastructure or grid solutions), offering affordable insurance solutions, or providing tools and access to necessary financing.  

  • Public Action and Efficient Response (Civic tech) by advocating for a more coordinated, efficient, equitable, and rapid response to natural disasters from communities and governments, and helping immigrants, refugees, and communities of color navigate the government and its processes.

  • Resilient Housing and Cities (Proptech, Urbantech, Fintech) through access to equitable housing and fair amenities as well as upgrading to more resilient housing, including financing and design. 

  • Welcoming and Supporting Immigrants and Refugees (Fintech, Healthtech, Edtech, RefugeeTech) through offering language support, upskilling or reskilling immigrants, facilitating the transfer of education credentials, or providing credit history data solutions.

These inclusive solutions enable climate migrants in the US not only navigate their new life, but truly thrive.

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Meet the Cohort

Advisory Board

Alan Hipólito
Alan Hipólito
Executive Director, Suma
Andy Stofleth
Andy Stofleth
Executive Director of Caribbean Operations, St. Bernard Project (SBP)
Chaarvi Badani
Chaarvi Badani
Senior Associate, AmFam Institute
Carlos Gaitan
Carlos Gaitan
Co-Founder & CEO, Benchmark Labs
Emma Leavy
Emma Leavy
Senior Investment Associate, Gratitude Railroad
Julia Kumari Drapkin
Julia Kumari Drapkin
Founder & CEO, ISeeChange
Julia Yang-Winkenbach
Julia Yang-Winkenbach
US Program Officer, Unbound Philanthropy
Kasra Movahedi IRC
Kasra Movahedi
Director, IRC's Center for Economic Opportunity


We are looking for startups that have:

  • A legal incorporation as a for-profit entity

  • Headquarters or operations in the United States

  • Market-based solution that tackles the challenges above

  • A minimum viable product (MVP), and raised less than $1.5M in equity

  • At least one full-time founder based in the US

  • Meaningful customer or business validation (including but not limited to revenue, successful pilots, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships).

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Problem Statement

Immigrants, refugees, and communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate risk and disasters. Due to geographic locations, inadequate existing infrastructure, a lack of power and representation in political and economic systems, racial and ethnic disparities, lackluster governmental response efforts — including the failure to legally recognize climate migrants — and more, these communities face extreme hardships in building climate resilience, or the ability to prepare and respond to extreme weather and other climate-related events.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) predicts the displacement of tens of millions over the next thirty years due to climate change impacts, likely leading to an uptick in immigration to the US. As climate change continues to threaten the well-being of migrants, it is critical to provide support for entrepreneurs building climate resilience through inclusive solutions.


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Receive a tailored curriculum to help your company identify early milestones and prepare for your next round of capital. Develop new skills in a total of four interactive workshops, both virtual and an in-person summit. Participate in mock board meetings with representatives from relevant institutions, corporates, and investors.

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Catalytic Capital

Upon completion of the program, each startup will receive an equal portion of a total funding amount of USD $200,000 as a non-dilutive, equity-free grant. The exact grant amount will be determined by the final number of selected startups in the cohort. The top two peer-selected startups will receive an additional investment of USD $100,000 each from WES Mariam Assefa Fund to further scale their solutions.

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1:1 coaching with an investment analyst focused on building a financial model, unit economics, and using financial metrics to drive both their business and investor diligence.

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Access to Abaca

Scale your business faster by identifying the right capital for you and planning your next milestones for growth.

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Build deep connections with other founders in your cohort and our larger Village Capital investor and alumni network.

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Build 1:1 connections with investors, strategic partners, founders, business leaders, and potential customers.


April 25, 2023

Applications Open

June 1, 2023

Applications Close

July 2023

Cohort Announced

August - November 2023

Program Workshops

Learn more about mentoring with Village Capital.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the main goal of the program?


2. Do you require us to move to the cities of the program?


3. Do you take equity for participating in the program?