Powered by Urban Co-Lab, the program aims to award diverse creative founders during SXSW 2017 in Austin, Texas

Austin, TX –  Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - Today, Ebony Magazine announced the launch of the Urban Creatives Rapid Accelerator and $10,000 Pitch Competition,  a new initiative to promote creative innovation. The competition will be held during South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 to support diverse start-up founders within the creative economy.

The program will focus on start-ups in creative industries such as film, TV, media, fashion, arts and culture and music, among others.  Five selected finalists will participate in a week-long rapid accelerator including engagement with industry-leading mentors who will provide guidance to finalists in the form of virtual fireside chats.  The selected teams will compete for funding to launch or scale their creative businesses at the inaugural competition held on March 12, 2017, at WeWork Congress in Austin, Texas.

A panel of celebrity judges will decide the grand prize winner, who will be awarded $10,000 in seed funding and a complimentary 6-month membership at WeWork, among other potential prizes, at the EBONY Magazine VIP reception held on March 13, 2017, at a private location in Austin, Texas.

Applications are open to the public from Feb. 8-Feb. 22, finalists will be announced Feb. 28th, 2017.

For more information or to apply, visit:  www.UrbanCreatives.co and follow the hashtag #urbancreatives.






Urban Co-Lab  is a social mission company established to provide impactful and community-conscious programming, engagement, and strategies to empower entrepreneurs and economies.  The organization's core areas of focus include entrepreneurship ecosystem development, diversity and inclusion and community development.

For more information visit: www.urbanco-lab.com


EBONY is the No. 1 source for an authoritative perspective on the Black community. Under the direction of Editor-in-Chief, Kyra Kyles, the monthly magazine, now in its 71st year, reaches nearly 11-million readers. EBONY features the best thinkers, trendsetters, hottest celebrities and next-generation leaders. EBONY ignites conversation, promotes empowerment and celebrates aspiration. Available nationwide on newsstands and the iPad, EBONY is the heart, the soul and the pulse of Black America. It’s more than a magazine, it’s a movement.

For more information visit:  http://www.ebony.com


Say Hello! To These New Team Members

Taylor Berry

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Taylor Berry gained an early passion for the arts, taking local studio classes throughout childhood and attending the historic Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She would go on to leave her beloved state in 2011 to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, earning herself a BFA in Industrial Design in May 2015. Making her way to Austin the following year, she built on her interests in entrepreneurship, sustainability and community involvement all while interning and working as a personal assistant. She now attends Austin Community College part-time for Biochemistry studies and joins Urban Co-Lab with hopes to help grow the organization through her graphic design and planning experience, thus furthering its outreach and positive effect on the community.

Christina Carbajal

Christina Carbajal is a senior at Texas State University majoring in Communications Studies. She is working towards being a media advisor/content coordinator in New York City one day. She currently plays a major role in an organization called Women of Gold where she helps empower women on campus in areas such as self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love. In her free time she enjoys filming and editing videos for her own talk show called Pillow Talk where she converses with students in her local area about social issues and spreading awareness. Christina hopes to build a brand that leaves an impact on the world.

Join us in welcoming them to the Urban Co-Lab community!

Stay Tuned for Exciting Announcements from Urban Co-Lab

Cheers to 2017...

2016 has been an amazing ride for Urban Co-Lab.   While we were officially birthed in September 2015, we got our wings this year and it has been nothing short of amazing.

Amidst the more than 100 events, a neighborhood festival, released reports and becoming the first community bureau for KUT, we have also learned quite a lot about our organization -- what works and what can be improved.

We took the time to reflect and incorporate these learnings into our strategic planning for 2017.   

We can't wait to share with you some pretty cool announcements at the top of next year that are sure to make 2017 even more impactful.

PS: Urban Co-Lab will be open to dedicated desk members only beginning Monday December 19, 2017. 

Meet our new Diversity Fellow, Angelica Erazo

In July 2016, Urban Co-Lab released the 2016 Austin Startup Diversity Report, a widely acclaimed research effort to best assess and understand Austin's evolving entrepreneurship eco-system from the perspective of diversity and inclusion.  

Among the many finds of the report were continued disparities in receipts, employees and investment capital obtained by firms founded by women and communities of color. 

In addition to this report, Urban Co-Lab also released an inaugural listing of diverse founders in conjunction with Austin Inno, a subsidiary media company to the Austin Business Journal. 

In continuing on this work, Urban Co-Lab is very proud to announce our first Diversity Fellow, Angelica Erazo.   Erazo is an honors graduate of Huston-Tillotson University - an Urban Co-Lab partnership university - and has worked extensively in the areas of technology, social impact and inclusion including serving as a founding member of the nationally renowned Green in the New Black program with Urban Co-Lab advisory board member and KASITA Founder Dr. Jeff Wilson aka 'Professor Dumpster'.

To learn more about Angelica please review her resume below. 

About Angelica Erazo

Angelica is a recent graduate from Huston-Tillotson University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Communications. Angelica’s experience is around marketing, technology and social media. She recently interned for Louis Vuitton-Seafolly as an international business associate in Barcelona, Spain and advocated for human rights during her study abroad in Cordoba, Argentina. Before her international experience, she had interned with great companies such as GSD&M, National Instruments and Google Fiber. 

During her undergrad years, she teamed up with four other students and created Green is the New Black, a non-profit established to engage minorities on green initiatives, where the organization grew to become internationally recognized. She's been on two committees for the City of Austin and has been the logistics coordinator for DivHackathon, a program created to encourage minority students to enter the world of tech. 

Angelica is now working at Dell Technologies where she works in the Tech Support Industry. We encourage you to take a look at Angelica's profile and connect with her via social media. 

You can reach Angelica at angelica@urbanco-lab.com

Urban Co-Lab: One Year Recap

"Despite its newness, Urban Co-Lab has fast become home to some big ideas..." -- KUT

Dear Austin Friends and Family, 

Exactly one year ago today Urban Co-Lab opened our doors at 1818 E. 12th Street and affirmed our commitment to unlocking the great potential that exists for the East 12th street corridor. 

At the onset we faced a number of unexpected challenges.  One of the most significant was the perception of the neighborhood by both new and old residents alike and its impact on our business.   We had a massive undertaking on our hands to encourage people to step out of their cars and into a community that was transforming and evolving.   

We are proud that Urban Co-Lab accepted that challenge.

And more importantly, we are proud of the role that the community we are building has played in being a positive example of what it can look like when communities collide, for the good of the city.  

Alongside historical companies that have been in the neighborhood for decades, we aspire to be a staple of the East 12th Street Corridor. 



We've hosted more than 150 programs at our space...

In the month of August alone, Urban Co-Lab an average of 20 programs and events at our space from small meetings to large events, all focused on entrepreneurship, advancing social enterprise and connecting with community organizations.   

Organizations that we have hosted include national staples like SnapChat and Google to local community and neighborhood groups. 

In total Urban Co-Lab as hosted more than 1,000 of people from all areas of Austin and nationally. 


We've had more than 20 community leaders serve as ambassadors... 

We launched our community ambassador program as a way to give social entrepreneurs, community leaders and others an opportunity to lead in their community through our space. 

We are super proud to have seen some of our community ambassadors go on to become community managers at Urban Co-Lab, advance in career, and be featured by major corporations.  

We are proud of their achievements and their contributions to our community.  

Additionally, we have had some amazing women such as Casey Shumake, Vicky Pridgen and Claire Morel all serve as Community Managers for Urban Co-Lab helping to support our growth and advancement. 

Check out our incredibly diverse team at Urban Co-Lab here... 


We officially launched our fall 2016 internship program w/ Huston-Tillotson University

Urban Co-Lab is now accepting applications for our inaugural student internship program for Fall 2016! The program has three essential components: Internship, Mentorship, and Workshops.

We have opportunities with companies including Mozilla, Breakthrough Austin and more... 


We were true to our commitment to employing local residents...

Urban Co-Lab is proud to have long-time local 12th street resident William Westpoint in charge of Facilities at Urban Co-Lab.  Our space provides an opportunity for William to have employment in his neighborhood and to be a part of the programming at our facility.


We launched the first comprehensive Austin Startup Diversity Report in the city...

Inclusion is critically important to Urban Co-Lab and is at the foundation of our mission.  As such, we were very proud to champion the agenda of diversity in Austin by releasing the first Austin Startup Diversity Report produced internally and covered by local and national media outlets. 

Click here to read the complete report. 


We have some pretty awesome members... Old and new... 

We are really proud to be home to some pretty awesome members including our longstanding tenants, University of Texas at Austin ICUSP Program and Mentegram, and newer members like Mozilla - The Hive, Breakthrough Austin and more... 

Hellos and Goodbyes

Urban Co-Lab has been up to some big moves and we have a lot of exciting new 'news' to share. Check out our recent additions and our heartfelt goodbyes to members of the Urban Co-Lab team. 

Meet Our New Team Member... 

Olivia Vescovo, Events Associate

While pursuing a degree in technical theatre, Olivia decided to explore event planning through a study abroad program in Edinburgh, Scotland. After returning to Texas, she furthered her events experience with internships at Kennedy Creative and Pearl Events Austin, as well as helping several non-profit groups with fundraisers. Olivia’s main focus is providing positive client experience and relations. As a native Austinite, she believes in developing community through shared experience and in giving back as much as possible (especially if puppies are involved!). In her spare time, Olivia runs her successful pet sitting business, Joyful Paws ATX, and is a Marketing Assistant and copywriter for the local tech startup, Homads.

Join Us in Saying Farewell to A Few Urban Co-Lab Gems... 

Three beloved members of our team are moving on to great opportunities in the Austin community, and we are so excited for all they will achieve! Our gratitude can never be met for all that they contributed to Urban Co-Lab and we are happy to have their talent and time, as well as their company.