About
The 1863 Brand
Let's talk
The Mission

DC-based business veterans, bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and equity.

$45 million
Raised to support New Majority teams
$12 million
Raised as startup founders & team members.
56 years
of cumulative startup and corporate experience.
36 years
of program management
32 years
of product design, development, and management.
24 years
of fundraising experience

Our Story
From a simple summit, to a deeply embedded brand with national reach.

2015

East of the River Summit.
In 2015 a group of students partnered with Professor Bradley to create an entrepreneurial summit East of the River to support emerging business owners from Southeast DC. Little did anyone know that the summit would become a fiscally sponsored entity called Project 500

The objective of Project 500 (now 1863).
In 2016 we committed to surfacing 500 entrepreneurs in three years in DC; the organization found 527Black entrepreneurs in just 18 months. Both of these milestones spoke to the need for business training, mentorship and capital for Black entrepreneurs who had been in business beyond 1-3 years. There is a clear market opportunity to support local entrepreneurs to create wealth for themselves and their communities was obvious.

2019 - Now

Gaining Independence.
Initially fiscally sponsored by Washington Regional Area Grantmakers (WRAG), we became an independent,Black-led nonprofit organization named 1863 Ventures. We deliver business development programs designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equity.

Our mission at 1863 Ventures
Our programs seek to accelerate new majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth. Our vision is to create $100B of new wealth and economic power for and by the New Majority.

Over the past several years, 1863 Ventures has had the honor of working with over 2,500 early-stage and growth-stage founders through our formal programs across a multitude of sectors and industries. With a membership representing nearly$300M and several thousand jobs, 1863 is fortunate to have crossed paths with some of the best and brightest founders in the nation.

2,500
Early to growth stage founders
as program graduates
$300M
In aggregate revenue from
our program graduates

Remembering our roots

Forever a DC-based brand.
While our footprint has expanded nationally, we remain deeply committed to our origins in the nation’s capital. We are thrilled to partner with local financial institutions and funders to support New Majority entrepreneurs in theDMV. In fact, we reserve seats in every program we host specifically for local entrepreneurs to gain support and become part of a broader community of like-minded individuals.

Our work in DC

Though we're a national brand, we are deeply committed to being a force of change in the nations capital.

Our Values

What we stand for.

"Diversity" is more than a buzzword.
Equity & equality above all else.
Universal opportunity is key.
We honor the power of the New Majority.
We value quick iterative cycles over perfection.
Founder Support

How we support & enable New Majority brands.

Participants receive free, non-dilutive instruction from industry experts on a wide variety of topics framed around key best practices, systems & processes.

After instruction, participants apply their learnings in real-time to their business. After each program, they receive one-on-one support from both the 1863 team and Brain Trust in order to refine their strategy and implementation.

Explore 1863 programs
  • Higher growth. Less effort.
    $1M+ in revenue/yr
    Supports brands seeking rapid growth or scale within 6-12 months of graduation and have at least two years of market traction.
  • Apply
  • Learn more
  • Improve ops via process
    $100k or more in revenue/yr
    Prioritizes process while facilitating partnerships with distributors to help qualified firms reach critical velocity faster to raise capital sooner.
  • Apply
  • Learn more
  • Rebuilding brands post COVID
    Learn more for details
    An online program to help you reevaluate your business models and execute with a clear roadmap. ($5000 in grants available)
  • Apply
  • Learn more
Ecosystem Partnerships

How we engage the ecosystem.

Partnership Options
Solution Partners
Support our teams with your products & services.
Join the likes of M&T, Facebook and Amazon.
Brand Pipeline
Pre-vetted New Majority brands.
Access brands in the 1863 network or part of the broader national ecosystem.
Custom Programs
Vertical specific or agnostic accelerators.
Programs in any location with a focus on any industry.
Brand Activations
Establish your brand in local communities.
From targeted online promotion to in-person gatherings.
Pitch Competitions
Vertical specific or agnostic competitions.
Discover the leading innovators of tomorrow.
Philanthropy

Support national
ecosystems
with maximum efficiency.

ExploreTalk to 1863 staff
Corporate

Discover untapped New Majority opportunities
for growth.

ExploreTalk to 1863 staff
Funders & Financiers

De-risk
high-potential
New Majority
investments.

ExploreTalk to 1863 staff
Our Capabilities

What we can accomplish as partners.

Customer Insights & Trends
Using our decades of experience in academia and our roots in data analytics, we're able to identify behaviors that are key to inciting change for both you and the teams you support.
Customer Experience
Doesn't matter if you're targeting potential portfolio companies or ecosystem builders, we can craft a market strategy to ensure you're only ever associated with excellence.
Data Science & Analytics
We believe that all change should be centered around real and accurate data. That's why we place pride in our ability to setup, manage & improve the systems required to acquire it.
Product & Service Vision
With our knowledge of national ecosystems, we're able to align all stakeholders, whether it's your team or the teams you support, around what it takes to achieve the right outcomes.
Go-to-Market Planning
Our extensive project managing experience enables us to avoid wasting time and resources bringing a solution to market where or when it’s unnecessary.
Omnichannel + D2C Strategy
While partnerships are valuable (and needed) relying solely on partners to communicate with customers is a risk. We specialize in building direct relationships between the target audiences and either you or the teams you support.
Design Systems + Style Guides
Save valuable time and energy for the stakeholders on your team and that of your portfolio companies by developing a unified and distinct language that your respective customer bases will fall in love with and that's all your own.
eCommerce + Website Design
We've worked closely with top brands to build stores & sites that compel their target audiences to buy into their value. We're bringing that skillset to your organization and your portfolio.
User Experience Strategy
Our design team specializes in translating any brands vision to every touchpoint their target market interacts with. Whether it's your brand setting up an event site, or one of your portfolio companies launching a content marketing initiative.
Digital Product + Service Design
A good solution is something that can be crafted & refined. Whether we're working with your team or one of your portfolio companies, we center the customer's needs and experiences. We ensure that every point where they make contact with the service provider creates a positive outcome in their mind.
Rapid Prototyping & Optimization
While building a product we understand the importance of validation. Before launching any initiative we run experiments to explore, test hypotheses and iterate on ideas. We carefully expose the target audience to the potential designs and experience before investing time and money into formal development.
Mobile Web + Native Design
We all live on our mobile devices, and it's likely that the audiences you're targeting does as well. Whether we're building a pitch event website or guiding the production of your portfolio company's new product, we ensure that the mobile experience is accounted for.
Identity + Positioning
We carefully craft how you want your initiative to be perceived  – from the language used, to your color palette and however else we'll express your brands values.
Brand Guidelines + Playbooks
We'll help you or your portfolio companies develop a comprehensive document that establishes guidelines for how your respective brand is publicly presented. It enforces consistency with all communications, whether that is a company description or visual branding.
Brand Messaging
Craft a comprehensive messaging framework that can guide you or your portfolio companies through marketing across every piece of content and channel. Everything you'll create, both internally and externally, should be able to map back to this messaging.
Visual Language + Art Direction
Just as spoken language is based on fundamental letters, sounds and grammar, visual art is based on elements and principles that, when used together, create works that communicate ideas and meaning to the viewer. These are necessary to convey your values to an increasingly distracted audience.
Campaign Development
Our design team specializes in translating any brands vision to every touchpoint their target market interacts with. Whether it's your brand setting up an event site, or one of your portfolio companies launching a content marketing initiative.
Design Production + Execution
Enables your in-house marketers and designers to stay focused on the big picture while the 1863 team acts as an extension of your department. Rest easy knowing experienced professionals can take your existing design or design direction and create production-ready assets in a timely and professional manner.
CMS Implementation
Develop a system that provides your staff or the staff of your portfolio brand(s) with a way to update or create content for whatever content-centric project(s) you're trying to produce.
Full Stack Development
Our development teams can work with both the front and back ends of a website or application, enabling us to tackle projects that involve databases or building user-facing websites.
Interactive Prototyping
We're capable of validating your ideas and concepts with prospective target audiences before investing time and money in the development stage. Highlighting any issues that users may have, or suggestions to improve the look and feel are addressed.
Quality Assurance
Before launching any initiative we ensure we maintain the desired level of quality in a service or product by means of attention to every stage of the process of delivery or production.
Content Strategy
Support with the ongoing process of transforming business objectives and goals into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving those goals.
Copywriting
While design, content marketing, and SEO are all parts of a complete digital marketing plan to New Majority communities, copywriting is the glue that ties it all together. Copy gives your design assets meaning and lays the necessary foundation.
Photography
The 1863 Studio team enables you or your portfolio brands to introduce the world to your business with authentic, high-resolution photos of your team, locations, products, audiences, initiatives and events.
Video Production
Our 1863 Studio team provides full video production services including concept development, production, and post production. For those who need an all-in-one script-to-screen solution, 1863 Studio can write, produce and edit a finished product that fits your video objectives.
Curriculum Development
The step-by-step process to create positive improvements in the courses offered by the business education-oriented arm of your brand. The world changes every day and new discoveries have to be engaged or included into the education curricula. We'll help you stay on top of it all.
Pitch Competition Judges + Evaluators
Sourcing experts that can evaluate brands across a wide-range of industries & verticals. Their critical eyes can serve as a shortcut for your portfolio companies to get to know investors who might invest in their brands in the near future.
One-on-One Coaching
Effective coaching is an integral part of the long-term success of your portfolio companies. By implementing consistent one-on-one coaching sessions, we can provide all our members the opportunity to share their ideas, frustrations, and goals within a structured and safe environment.
Guest Speaking Engagements
We provide access to role models, mentors and trailblazers to share their stories and inspire your portfolio companies. Each speaker brings opportunity to build competency through workshops and trainings from both sector leaders and successful regional entrepreneurs.
Co-branded Webinars
Two heads are better than one - the saying holds true when it comes to creating webinars that will benefit your brands. Joining forces to run a co-marketing webinar can have double the value of your average broadcast, from reaching new markets to bolstering your credibility.