Morgan Stanley

Multicultural Innovation Lab

Our in-house startup accelerator promotes financial inclusion and provides access to capital for early stage technology and technology-enabled companies led by women and multicultural entrepreneurs.

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Our mission is to create a more inclusive investment landscape for women and diverse founders. We provide a unique opportunity for disruptive startups to access capital, accelerate their business and increase their visibility.
Selma Bueno Head of Multicultural Client Strategy

Our Mission

In our 2018 survey, investors reported capitalizing multicultural and women-owned businesses at 80% less than businesses overall, and our research shows this translates into roughly $4.4 trillion in missed opportunity. The Multicultural Innovation Lab, part of our Multicultural Client Strategy Group, is here to change that. Launched in 2017, and expanded to include founders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2021, the MCIL promotes financial inclusion and provides founders of tech and tech-enabled startups with much-needed access to investors—along with the tools, resources and connections they need to grow and thrive. The Lab’s mission is nothing less than to transform the investing landscape around the world.

Key Stats

While we’re not currently accepting applications, we will open applications for the next cohort in early 2023. Please sign up below to be notified when applications are open.

About the Program

Curated Curriculum

The Lab customizes a curriculum for each startup, including finance & sales strategy, marketing & branding, and private sessions with industry experts.

Mentorship That Makes a Difference

Morgan Stanley pairs each startup with hand-picked mentors who provide advice and counsel to help each company grow and scale its business.

Powerful Networks

We introduce startups to our bankers, financial advisors, technology experts and others who can connect each company to their industry networks. We also give them access to potential clients and the investor ecosystem at large.

Showcase and Demo Day

Our five-month program culminates with a Demo Day during which all participants can present to a network of investors, potential business partners and customers, who could help take their companies to the next level.

 

HEAR ABOUT THE LAB

 

US Fall 2022 Cohort

Advocat

A legal software platform developed to streamline the process of creating and operationalizing legal documents.

View Advocat Website

AuditMate

Is a provider of SaaS-driven vertical transportation maintenance and contract management services. The solution helps property managers with contract analysis, maintenance completion reporting, compliance management and more.

View AuditMate Website

Gentreo

Software solution helping families and caregivers affordably and easily prepare, plan and protect all they love with next generation estate planning. 

View Gentreo Website

Here Here Market

An online marketplace for food enthusiasts to discover and buy specialty products from chef-prenuers and small batch artisans. 

View Here Here Market Website

Physician 360

Transforms community pharmacies into healthcare clinics by empowering them with access to a virtual care platform.

View Physician 360 Website


EMEA Fall 2022 Cohort

AMAKA

AMAKA Studio is a digital media platform connecting a global community of women sharing Pan-African stories.

View AMAKA Website

imagi

imagi is an education tech company leveraging proprietary coding education tools to equip girls with essential technology skills and confidence.

View imagi Website

Kami

Kami is an AI-powered, family support platform providing personalized access to a wide range of wellness consultants, as well as an expertly curated and comprehensive range of guides, articles, and tips.

View Kami Website

Perse

Perse is a single data technology platform leveraging energy and carbon data from all meters in Britain to report and optimize the energy and carbon footprint for individuals, households and businesses.

View Perse Website

Wearisma

Wearisma is a global enterprise SaaS influencer analytics platform helping large-scale companies to optimize marketing spend and to achieve communication objectives.

View Wearisma Website

Team Leadership

Selma Bueno, Managing Director, Head of Multicultural Client Strategy

As Head of the Multicultural Client Strategy Group, Selma Bueno oversees the Multicultural Innovation Lab, the Next Level Fund and other key initiatives that help strengthen Morgan Stanley’s commercial engagement and connectivity with the multicultural business community. Selma most recently served as Morgan Stanley’s Global Chief Administrative Officer of Investment Banking and has over 20 years of investment banking experience, advising companies across North America and Latin America.

Read Selma's story

Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director, EMEA Head of Multicultural Client Strategy

Sanghamitra Karra is currently the EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) Head of Multicultural Client Strategy leading the efforts on establishing the Multicultural Innovation Lab in the region. Sanghamitra has been at Morgan Stanley for over 15 years and prior to this has held a variety of roles in Risk Management across Mumbai and London including most recently as Global Head of Market Risk Stress Testing. She is focussed on developing solutions to combat long-term systemic risks such as climate change and social inequity. She holds Masters degrees in Statistics from Indian Statistical Institute and MSc in Climate Change & Development from SOAS University of London. 

The Lab Experience

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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Background and Basics

 

What is the Multicultural Innovation Lab?

The Multicultural Innovation Lab is an intensive five-month accelerator designed to help further develop and scale startups, culminating in a Demo Day and showcase presentation to the investor community.

When and why was the Lab started?

Morgan Stanley launched the MCIL in 2017 in order to address inequities in funding of multicultural and women-led startups, which our research shows totals more than a trillion dollars.

Who leads the Lab team?

Our global team is led by Managing Director and Head of Multicultural Client Strategy Selma Bueno and Managing Director Alice Vilma. Together, they have over 40 years of equity syndicate, investment banking, capital markets and structured finance experience. Our EMEA team is led by Sanghamitra Karra. Karra has held a variety of roles in Stress Testing and Scenario Analysis, including for Investment Management and Market Risk Methodology in Mumbai and London.

Where is the Lab based?

The Lab is based in our office at 522 Fifth Avenue in New York City. In October 2021, Morgan Stanley announced an expansion of the Lab to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). EMEA MCIL offices are based at 20 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4AD.

Contact Us

For additional questions about our New York-based program, please use this contact to email us and we’ll get back to you shortly. For questions about our London-based (EMEA) program, please email us here.

Application Details

 

Who is eligible?

The ideal candidate will meet the following criteria:

  • Is a multicultural or woman founder, co-founder, CTO or other C-suite member.
  • Has founded a technology or technology-enabled startup that falls within the Seed to Series B funding round stage.
  • Has launched product with demonstrated revenues that validate the initial business model and market opportunity.

Do I have to live in or relocate to NYC or London to participate? How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the onsite aspect of the program?

We believe that the value of our program lies in part with the relationships built among the cohort and with the broader Morgan Stanley community. In the past, this required all participants to be on site in our offices for the duration of the program. However, to ensure the health and safety of all members of our program and community, Lab activities and events are operating on a hybrid remote and in-person model. We will continue to operate in a hybrid model, as long as it is prudent and responsible to do so, with the intent to return to full in-person programming as soon as possible.

When are applications open?

While we’re not currently accepting applications, we will open applications for the next cohort in early 2023. Please sign up below to be notified when applications are open.

Do I have to lead a FinTech company in order to apply?

No. We look for technology or technology-enabled startups across a variety of sectors.

When will I hear back about my application?

We aim to target contacting applicants with next steps within one month after their application is submitted.

I’ve applied to the MCIL before. Can I apply again?

We absolutely welcome repeat applications and encourage previous applicants to keep in touch.

I am interested in applying to the London-based program. What else do I need to know?

The EMEA MCIL program will launch with a first cohort of five companies led by women or ethnic-minority founders in late summer 2022.

Contact Us

For additional questions about our New York-based program, please use this contact to email us and we’ll get back to you shortly. For questions about our London-based (EMEA) program, please email us here.

What You Can Expect

Does Morgan Stanley invest financially in companies that participate in the Lab?

Yes. Morgan Stanley contributes $250,000 to each company participating in our New York-based program and £200,000 to each company participating in our London-based program in exchange for an equity stake.

What does the curriculum cover?

The curriculum is tailored to suit each individual cohort, but it generally includes such topics as branding your startup, developing your investor pitch, refining your value prop and devising effective finance and sales strategies. In addition, we offer participants the opportunity to meet with industry experts for one-on-one consultations.

What kind of mentorship will I receive from Morgan Stanley?

We pair each company with a Morgan Stanley mentor chosen specifically for their relevant expertise. Your mentor communicates with you regularly and can provide advice and counsel on company growth and scaling your business.

Will I be introduced to investors during my time at the Lab?

Morgan Stanley leverages its broad network of clients and investors on behalf of its Lab cohorts, making introductions and connections that aim to grow and scale each company’s business.

What is Demo Day?

Demo Day culminates the five-month Lab program, with each founder pitching to an audience of potential investors and clients.

Does the Lab team support its portfolio companies after the program is over?

Yes, we stay in contact with former participants and follow their successes, continuing to offer advice and support as needed.

Contact Us

For additional questions about our New York-based program, please use this contact to email us and we’ll get back to you shortly. For questions about our London-based (EMEA) program, please email us here.