LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An exciting, innovative Black business incubator is bringing new opportunities to West Louisville. Russell Tech Business Incubator is the first of its kind and it’s aimed at opening doors for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.
What You Need To Know
- Russel Tech Business Incubator seeks to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in West Louisville
- Program provides nearly $3 million in resources for Black businesses getting their start
- Rockefeller Foundation, Brown-Foreman, and Humana are supporting the program
Construction is still underway at the Russell Tech, and Dave Christopher Sr. is excited about the future. Christopher has spent countless hours at his academy of music production, educating and developing young people to learn skills about audio engineering and web design.
But this time around, he’s pouring himself into creating Louisville’s first Black business incubator.
“All we can do is provide resources, and so that is what we want to do. It’s never been done this is actually a program that is being looked at as a national program; that’s how unique it is. We will be using this as a blueprint to take an underserved community and build those communities up, because what we understand is if we create black owned businesses latinx businesses in underserved communities, then we can also bring in jobs that pay a living wage so we create this ecosystem that takes care of itself," Christopher said.
Nearly three million dollars will help provide those resources. A number of well-known businesses are backing the incubator, which will help entrepreneurs like Antonio Taylor and his business, Wave FM.
Taylor loves music and has also found a place as a livestreamer, concentrating on social issues with a group of his friends.
Christopher said he's hopeful about the days ahead and excited about what the future will bring.
“You’ll receive own personal business coach. You will receive certification classes for accounting, marketing and all of that, so you can understand how the business works. You are going to receive capital, not a loan, but money given to you to get the things you need to start your business," Christopher said.
"When you are talking about funding there’s good money that you borrow and bad money that you borrow. The good money is money that you borrow to grow. The bad money is money you borrow to catch up, and we don’t want to start people out in debt."
Russel Tech Business Incubator has momentum, as Christopher said he's raised money from organizations including the Rockefeller Foundation, Brown-Foreman, and Humana.
"All of these companies have all invested in what we know is a solution to bringing black businesses to life," he said.
The incubator is slated to open this month and already has more than a dozen applicants.