In a significant move to bolster diversity and representation within the media industry, the Black Owned Media Equity & Sustainability Institute (BOMESI) accelerator, powered by General Motors, has embarked on a groundbreaking mission to support diverse and Black-owned media companies. The initiative first was first announced at Black Owned Media Weekend in Tulsa, Okla. to focus on infrastructure, ecosystem building, and audience development.
BOMESI aims to foster sustainable business relationships between these media companies and the nation’s top advertisers, leading to increased deal flow and investment. Today marks an exciting milestone, as the Institute unveils its first cohort of publishers, ready to take their media platforms to the next level.
Rhonesha Byng, the co-founder of BOMESI and founder of Her Agenda, expressed her enthusiasm for the program. “I am so happy to finally unveil the first cohort of the BOMESI accelerator. This program is a true investment in diverse-owned media, including everything from capital to community,” she says. “Please join me in congratulating our inaugural class!”
The accelerator program, backed by an esteemed panel of judges, including Tawana Burnett, head of global clients, Meta; Ryan Chappell, Brand Lead, Spotify; Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer, P&G; and Jason Rosario, Chief DEI Officer, BBDO, will focus on offering underrepresented media companies the resources, mentorship, and financial support necessary for success. By doing so, BOMESI seeks to create a more inclusive and representative media environment in the United States.
The first cohort comprises seven diverse media companies, each with their own unique approach to amplifying Black voices and fostering cultural conversations. The companies include Bauce; BK Reader; Parle; Watch the Yard; Luz Collective; CultureBanx; and The Curvy Fashionista.
One of the participants, Kevin Benoit founder and CEO of Parle, was also recently named to the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Incubator for Executive Leaders of Color. When asked about what the BOMESI Accelerator means to him, Benoit tells Brand&Culture, “This is a game changer. Some opportunities come at the perfect time and being part of this collective and this cohort has been a complete blessing.”
“The knowledge and insight I’m getting from the mentors is invaluable. The synergy with the other publishers is eye-opening,” he adds. “This is all just reaffirming that this passion project that I started all those years ago is still one of my best decisions.”
The BOMESI Accelerator will offer significant financial investment to the selected companies, enabling them to scale their operations and expand their reach to new audiences. In addition to capital, the accelerator will provide mentorship, connecting participants with experienced industry leaders. These mentors will offer valuable guidance and support in crucial areas such as business development, marketing, and content creation.
The program fosters networking opportunities for the cohort members, connecting them with potential partners, investors, and advertisers within the media industry. Alongside these networking benefits, the accelerator aims to equip the participating companies with the latest tools and resources necessary to succeed in the competitive media landscape. This holistic approach aims to ensure the growth and sustainability of diverse media companies in the United States.
Program partners include CoLab, CinematicaLabs, Dentsu International, Concert by Voxmedia and Kargo. Also participating as industry partners are HP; BBDO; The City University of New York; Ben & Jerry’s; Danone; and P&G.