Our Mission:

We Accelerate Opportunity.

Do you know that less than 2% of venture capital is granted to women and founders of color?  At Hillman, we work to challenge this absence of balance by providing underrepresented technology founders with access to the education, seed funding, mentorship, and network they need to compete.


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As the first accelerator in the Midwestern region of the United States providing support to underrepresented tech founders, Hillman aims to cultivate excellence in entrepreneurship amongst entrepreneurs.

Our own founder, Candice Matthews, has leveraged over 15 years experience in starting, funding, and operating tech driven businesses in ecosystems that are nearly absent of opportunity for women of color.

She has been influential in pioneering partnership initiatives with Procter & Gamble, Miami University, and the University of Cincinnati-- and lends her expertise in revenue strategy, business development, and structured deals to provide continuous support to the startup ecosystem, nationally.

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Our Programs

At Hillman, we recognize that one size does not fit all. That’s why we develop specialized curriculums and experiences constructed to meet the specific needs of teams that are accepted into our cohort. Experienced Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) and mentors meet regularly with founders to highlight strengths and create opportunities for growth and development.

All roads lead to Demo Day! At the end of the program, they prepare to present their products and services to selected audience of investors, corporate partners and press. This is an exciting time for us and our cohorts.

Life after Demo Day. We prepare founders and their team for what’s next by developing a post-accelerator game plan, navigating them through the next 18 months with emphasis on raising, revenue, and team growth.


Provide access to capital resources,
Facilitate national corporate connections and
Leverage network to increase revenue.


World class entrepreneurs,
Human capital and financial management experience. "


Recruiting global talent
Fostering mentorships
Enriching knowledge


Invest $125,000 in early stage capital,
Opportunities for follow-on capital within our network of investors.
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October 2017

We don’t think there’s a pipeline problem. There’s no shortage of teams being formed by minority or women founders with great ideas. We think the problem lies in these teams’ accessing a community or support system to move their ideas forward,”

Candice Matthews, Executive Director of Hillman Acceleratort / Read Full Article


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