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Silicon Valley Bank Funds Entrepreneurship Lab with $300,000 Grant to the SoLa I CAN Foundation’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games

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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
January 10, 2023 GMT
SoLa logo
SoLa logo

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The SoLa I CAN Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of leading minority-owned and operated social impact fund SoLa Impact, announced a $300,000 grant to the SoLa Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games from Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and investors. The grant will be used to create the SoLa Entrepreneurship Lab Powered by Silicon Valley Bank, an interactive workspace offering entrepreneurship and tech innovation programs for youth and adults in South Los Angeles.

The SoLa I CAN Foundation is opening access to educational and economic opportunity to end intergenerational poverty in South Los Angeles. Through the SoLa Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games, SoLa works to train and inspire the next generation of Black and brown technology and entertainment professionals, creators and entrepreneurs from South Los Angeles. The Center uses innovative and culturally relevant instruction, curriculum and programs to empower participants to find their own passions and interests in a positive and safe environment.

Silicon Valley Bank’s grant affirms the company’s commitment to fostering the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Between 150-200 students are expected to complete entrepreneurship training through the SoLa Entrepreneurship Lab annually.

“Silicon Valley Banks’ community support focused on empowering innovation in historically under-resourced communities is urgently needed. Our work together will help bright young minds create businesses and learn entrepreneurial thinking, which will directly impact and reduce intergenerational poverty in South LA. This lab is going to help our young Black and brown creators learn how to bring their ideas to market and make an impact in this community. We’re thrilled to have SVB’s partnership,” said Sherri Francois, Chief Impact Officer of SoLa Impact and Founder and Executive Director of the SoLa I CAN Foundation.

The SoLa Entrepreneurship Lab Powered by Silicon Valley Bank will be a multi-purpose space within the SoLa Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, used for entrepreneurship, fintech, web3 and financial literacy programs and career training. The lab’s programming will launch in Spring 2023.

“SVB is deeply committed to innovators and we’re investing for a world where everyone has the opportunity to bring their bold ideas to life,” said Bobbie Salgado, Silicon Valley Bank’s Senior Director, CRA & Community Affairs Manager. “We are so proud to help build this space that will educate and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs from South LA.”

SoLa I CAN, supported by partners like Silicon Valley Bank, is steadily getting close to its current capital fundraising goal of $5,000,000 to sustain and grow the non-profit. Silicon Valley Bank is directly contributing to the development of the future leaders of South LA and ensuring greater access to economic and educational opportunity.

Contact: Karen Lewis,, (323) 424-9400

About SoLa Impact

SoLa Impact is a family of real estate funds with a double bottom line strategy focused on preserving, rehabbing, and building high-quality, affordable housing in Black and Brown communities. SoLa’s proven track record leverages data-driven social impact strategies to deliver market returns. SoLa Impact’s fourth fund, the Black Impact Fund, will deploy over $1 billion in Los Angeles and Southern California to build over 3,500 workforce and affordable housing units. SoLa Impact was ranked as the 7th fastest-growing Black-led private company. Additionally, it was recognized as the Leading Social Impact Housing Developer in recognition of SoLa’s demonstrated ability to deliver positive changes in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. SoLa Impact’s funds have attracted a number of leading investors due to its disruptive business model of leveraging private capital to dramatically reduce the cost of affordable housing.

About SoLa Impact’s I CAN Foundation

The SoLa I CAN Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact, aims to improve the lives of South LA residents and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for education and economic mobility. SoLa’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games, is a state-of-the-art, first-of-its-kind center at the heart of South Central Los Angeles. SoLa provides the community with skills-based technology programming, scholarships, and career development opportunities for underinvested communities to ensure Black and Brown Angelenos get increased access to jobs, mentorship, and placement in the most competitive fields of business.

About Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and investors, provides commercial banking services, expertise and insights to the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity, venture capital and premium wine industries. Silicon Valley Bank operates in centers of innovation around the world and is one of SVB’s core businesses with SVB Capital, SVB Private and SVB Securities. With global commercial banking services, Silicon Valley Bank helps address the unique needs of its dynamic, fast-growing, innovative clients. Learn more at

Silicon Valley Bank is a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System. Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary of SVB Financial Group (SVB) (Nasdaq: SIVB). SVB Financial Group is the holding company for all business units and groups. © 2022 SVB Financial Group. All rights reserved. SVB, SVB FINANCIAL GROUP, SILICON VALLEY BANK, SVB SECURITIES, SVB PRIVATE, SVB CAPITAL and the chevron device are trademarks of SVB Financial Group, used under license. [SIVB-C]

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