Applications are now closed.

MATTER is committed to supporting a more diverse, equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial community. As part of our commitment, we are launching the second edition of BRIDGE in partnership with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. BRIDGE is a free program designed to support early-stage founders of color seeking entrepreneurial mentorship, guidance and resources to build a successful business.

For founders

Program details

At the start of the program, you will be matched with a mentor who you will meet one-on-one for three months. You will also receive access to YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s Business Fundamentals workshops and Ureeka, an online platform for self-paced business courses and community of entrepreneurs. At the conclusion of the program, you will have a lean business plan and a pitch deck. The program will start August 31, 2022, and conclude December 2, 2022.


July 18: Applications open
August 12: Applications close
August 31-December 2: One-on-one meetings with mentors
Week of December 12: Program wrap up

Who is eligible?

Participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Healthcare startup founder
  • Identification as African American or Black, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander or other mixed racial group
  • Early-stage or first-time founder who is pre-prototype, pre-investment and/or pre-revenue

Applications are now closed.

For mentors

Program Details

As a mentor, your role will be to understand the challenges faced by founders of color creating healthcare solutions and to provide guidance to participants as they navigate the next steps in their ventures. You must be available to meet with your assigned mentee every other week for a minimum of one hour throughout the duration of the program from August 31, 2022, to December 2, 2022.

Who is eligible?

We are seeking business professionals or experienced founders with healthcare industry and startup knowledge. Previous startup mentoring experience is a plus.

Applications are now closed.

Frequently asked questions

Why is BRIDGE focused on supporting entrepreneurs and founders of color?
It’s common for many entrepreneurs and founders of color to face challenges that their white counterparts do not, and MATTER is committed to supporting a more equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial community.

How many times can I apply?
Please complete one application. If you are not selected for the current cohort, you will need to resubmit your application for future cohorts.

Will participating companies receive access to additional MATTER resources?
To support entrepreneurs and mentors throughout the duration of the program, participants will receive access to access to YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s Business Fundamentals workshops and Ureeka platform, an online platform for self-paced business courses and community of entrepreneurs that offer guidance and resources to support founders.

How much does it cost to participate in this program?
There is no cost to participate.

When will I be notified if I’m accepted into the program?
Applicants will be notified via email by August 22, 2022.

If I have additional questions not addressed here, where can I obtain more information?
For specific questions and more information, please email BRIDGE@matter.health.


At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 700 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. Visit matter.health for more information.

About YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Founded in 1876, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is a social enterprise committed to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. As a leading association among a national network of more than 200 YWCAs, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago impacts tens of thousands of women and families annually through comprehensive human services provided across the region. YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is a leader in the areas of sexual violence support, early childhood and child care provider services, family support, youth STEM programming and economic empowerment. A commitment to racial justice, equity and inclusion is foundational to all YWCA programs and services. Located in the third-largest American city, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago serves as a national incubator for innovative programming, outreach and engagement strategies. YWCA Metropolitan Chicago works at both the individual and systems levels to create the truly inclusive marketplace necessary for a diverse and balanced economy. The organization is an active member of many national, state, county and city-level coalitions, advocating for policies that combat racism and positively affect women and families. Learn more at www.ywcachicago.org and follow @ywcachicago on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.