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Their mission is clear, diversify clinical trials and genetic research by engaging the very population that needs to be represented - people of color. Yet, Acclinate Genetics has found itself in a business world where diversity among entrepreneurs, diversity among ventured backed entrepreneurs, is limited, too.
Previous reports from the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that minority entrepreneurs represented just 20% of entrepreneurs funded by venture capital. Not to mention that loan denial rates have been reported to be higher for minority entrepreneurs.
As an Alabama Launchpad finalist, Acclinate Genetics mission is amplified.
“These are new conversations around a real problem, health disparities among minorities. We have presented our ‘how’ and it’s very different from the way things have traditionally been done,” said Del Smith,PhD, CEO of Acclinate Genetics. “We have a big vision and it involves impacting a lot of communities and a lot of lives.”
When it comes to impacting lives, Smith takes it a step further. He serves as a role model for minority students, too. His tenure as the Dean of the Business School at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, a historical black college and university (HBCU), takes his story to another level.
“There’s an overwhelming sense of responsibility to my students to show them that they can be successful entrepreneurs,” Smith said. “Part of that involved role modeling what that looks like. It takes drive, grit, and determination. I want my students to know that there are many paths to success and sometimes you will take two paths during the same season of your life. Having dual careers may allow you to have an even greater impact on the world,” Smith adds.
Smith and his team will present their final Alabama Launchpad pitch February 27, 2020 at The Warehouse at Alley Station located at 130 commerce street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104. Event details can be found online here.
“Regardless of the outcome, being an Alabama Launchpad finalist provides an opportunity to share our vision more broadly,” said Smith. “This is an opportunity for an Alabama-based company to tackle a tough subject regarding health disparity among minorities. We take that responsibility very seriously.”
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