About Founders First.

Founders First is the largest national platform for growing businesses led by diverse founders. We offer strategic expansion programs, coaching and grant resources to help you grow to $10M and beyond.

Our Mission.

Our mission is to solve racial and social economic equity gaps by training, funding, and growing small businesses owned and operated by diverse founders.

Our Vision.

At Founders First, our vision for the future is nothing less than an inclusive economy where diverse-led businesses thrive just as much as majority firms.

Our Story.

Since 2015, we have helped accelerate the success of hundreds of small, service-based, B2B companies.  Our companies are run by women, people of color, military Veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community and those located in urban communities. We have a focus specifically on lifting up groups that have been dramatically underrepresented in the ranks of business leadership and without access to growth capital. 

Founders First CDC is like a top-tier tech accelerator – only we work with service-based small businesses to help them thrive to become significant leaders in their industries and in their communities. 

We provide a proven model for growth and funding by offering three components:

  1. Pre-funding programs that accelerate companies through growth and funding as part of our non-profit, Founders First CDC.
  2. Ever-expanding unrestricted grants that are awarded year-round and are both regional and national.
  3. A network of partner resources to serve and support our member companies from one-on-one coaching to funding. 

Our Values.


Advancing opportunities for
members, employees, and partners by practicing Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion with Empathy and Fairness.


Helping members, employees, and partners reach their goals by being Responsible and Accountable, giving and deserving Trust and Respect. Never forgetting to Give Back & Have Fun by celebrating successes.


Providing service with Excellence while pursuing our Founder-Centric approach. Always acting with Integrity, Transparency, Honesty, and Authenticity.

Our Leadership.

Shaylon Scott

Executive Director

Kim Folsom

Founder & Board Chair

Our Funders.

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