BCSIAlogo 1

Dear Partner,

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Tracy Harrell Dunn, and I am the Executive Director of the Benedict College Statewide Investment Accelerator (BCSIA) and the Dean of the Burroughs School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Benedict College. I am writing to express a sincere interest in seeking financial support from your organization for the BCSIA Program. I am grateful to Mrs. Millicent Lann, our Program Director, for identifying your organization as a potential supporter.

When the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded the EDA Build to Scale grant to us in October 2022, Benedict College entered an elite class of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Only 6% of HBCUs offer programming that provide seed funding to startups and given Benedict College’s deep roots in the community (150+ years) and over two decades of programmatic economic development in the community, the College is uniquely well positioned to deliver this accelerator to the state of South Carolina.

The mission of the BCSIA is to empower and elevate South Carolina founders from diverse backgrounds by providing more equitable opportunities that include access to capital and mentorship. While our target participants are women, minority, and veteran founders in South Carolina, it is important to note that our program does not discriminate.

The BCSIA is a 12-week virtual accelerator program that operates at least twice per year, accepting five South Carolina startups in each cohort. The purpose of the small cohort is to ensure a concierge experience for each startup. We tailor the resources and content to fit the needs of each member of the cohort.

I am writing to you today to express our interest in obtaining funds to support our accelerator program.  We are seeking funds to utilize as:

  • Non-dilutive Funding for our Program Participants: The accelerator program recognizes that startup growth is fueled by cash and that our target population has historically encountered significant barriers to capital. Hence, the intentions of our program are to address this inequity and equip the companies with the resources to secure the investment dollars that they need to grow and create jobs beyond our program. Our goal is to provide $10,000 to each startup and your funds will be used to support our first two cohorts.

Research suggests that if minority and women founders achieved parity in funding, they would generate at least an additional $3 trillion to the US economy.  Hence, we believe that the program’s targeted population can serve as an important economic engine for South Carolina, which becomes more significant to the state as it positions itself as an innovation hub.

Because we recognize that your organization is committed to the economic development of South Carolina, we ask that you join the efforts of the first HBCU in South Carolina to bring a program like this to the state. Together we can:

  • Promote Statewide Economic Growth: Contribute to the development and sustainability of homegrown startups.
  • Enhance Your Corporate Social Responsibility: Demonstrate a commitment to community development and entrepreneurship, and
  • Increase Your Visibility and Recognition: Be prominently acknowledged as a key partner in all program materials and promotional efforts.

We believe that with the support of your organization, the BCSIA will have a profound impact on South Carolina’s innovative ecosystem. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this proposal further and address any questions you may have.

Thank you for considering our request, and we look forward to the possibility of working together to empower South Carolina’s entrepreneurs and make a lasting contribution to the state.

TracyHarrellDunnPhD signature
Tracy Harrell Dunn, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Scroll to Top