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SoftBank Will Invest in 14 Companies Run by Diverse Founders

The company is putting money behind each company in its accelerator for startups run by underrepresented minorities. 

Rajeev Misra

Rajeev Misra

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

SoftBank Group Corp. will make investments in 14 startups run by underrepresented founders, its Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra said.

The investments are part of the Japanese conglomerate’s Emerge accelerator program, which offers mentoring to entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups. For the coming year, SoftBank is extending the program to Europe, and expanding it to two cohorts instead of one, Misra said, adding that the number could eventually grow to three. Misra spoke at Emerge’s online event Thursday where founders pitched investors, showcasing the first group of companies completing the program.