Morgan Stanley

Five startups finish their time inside Morgan Stanley's Multicultural Innovation Lab by pitching to a packed room of investors.

“We are going to change the game for multicultural and women entrepreneurs,” Carla Harris, a Vice-chairman at Morgan Stanley, told the founders of five startups in July, as she welcomed the first cohort for the firm’s Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Lab. By November, they were pitching to a room packed with investors; evidence enough that the game is already changing.

“There are customers, investors and supporters all in one room. It’s phenomenal,” says Lisa Skeete-Tatum, CEO of Landit, one of five startups, of the November pitch day. “This is a great stage for us, as a young startup.”

Landit is a digital platform providing individual women and companies the ability to personalize a career path, as well as access to career and brand-building resources. Along with Kairos, Gitlinks, AptDeco and Trigger, Landit was given capital, offices inside the firm’s headquarters and the kind of investment banking attention and industry connections that Morgan Stanley gives its corporate clients.

“Now that the Lab is over it’s about momentum,” says Skeete-Tatum. “Being part of Morgan Stanley’s Lab has been a huge catalyst and we’re accelerating in all areas. We’re going to keep that momentum going.”

The first cohort may have completed their program, “but it’s not over,” Harris told the cohort. “You’re part of the Morgan Stanley family now.”

Applications for the next cohort open on January 1, 2018.

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