LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Render Capital, a $15 million regional fund of Access Ventures that is focused on providing early-stage risk capital for entrepreneurs in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, has received more than 300 applications from across the world for this year’s Render Competition, which helps open the door for early-stage startups to gain access to capital to help them thrive.
Render Capital’s $100,000 Render Competition launched on April 1 and closed applications on May 6, with 302 startups applying to receive funding and support from the Render Capital team and its partners. Companies from any industry could apply for the Render Competition, which aims to fund high-growth startups that are typically technology-forward, that can also grow quickly and significantly. These are companies that will most likely seek venture capital funding in order to fuel their growth into other markets. Startups from any location can apply; however, winners who do not live in the Greater Louisville region must relocate their headquarters to the area. Eight businesses will win an investment of $100,000.
“This past year has been difficult for many startups as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19, and we are excited to be able to support some of them in a big way to help make their entrepreneurial vision a reality,” said Marigrace Ragsdale, senior associate with Render Capital. “Ultimately, this investment into eight companies will help them quickly grow and succeed, both locally in our area, and then across the country and world, and we are thrilled to be able to play a part in this momentum.”
Applications by the numbers
- 302 total applications (up 58% from 2020)
- 22 different states (up 22% from 2020)
- 6 different continents (up 50% from 2020)
- 27 different countries (up 440% from 2020)
- 61% of founding teams include people of color (up 17% from 2020)
- 37% of founding teams include females (up 32% from 2020)
“It’s exciting to see our number of applicants up overall, but especially to see more diversity this year,” said Patrick Henshaw, managing director of Render Capital. “Supporting people of color and female business owners is very important to Render Capital, since these groups are proven to have more difficulty accessing capital.”
The next phase of the Render Competition, the judging round, begins May 24 and will continue throughout the summer. Judges will narrow down the initial pool of applicants into a group of 16 finalists who will compete in September for a chance to win one of the eight investments.
Render Capital is a Louisville, Ky.-based investment firm focused on deploying a capital strategy that boosts the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem by investing in the best startups in the region.