CHARLOTTE – NXT|CLT has appointed its first executive director and new board of directors.

The business incubator focuses on creating a pathway of success for untapped, talented high-performing businesses owned by Black, Indigenous People of Color.

Eric Lewis has been selected to lead the business accelerator through its next phase of growth. Lewis has extensive corporate experience as an advisor, mentor and coach for high-performing teams and individuals.

“I am honored to lead an organization that is actively investing in Charlotte’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and positioning entrepreneurs of color to succeed, scale and grow,” Lewis said. “There is a clear equity gap when it comes to starting and running a business in Charlotte – a gap that is exacerbated by systems of long-held bias and inequity.”

At the heart of the organization’s efforts is a cohort initiative, which brings emerging companies and their leaders together for six months of immersive learning, mentoring, resources and a support by way of a peer-led network. 

To date, the organization has invested more than $315,000 in diverse businesses, developed 32 leaders, served more than 300 businesses, and hosted four cohorts of small businesses.

In addition to Lewis’s appointment, the organization recently announced its board of directors. The slate includes:

• Greg Johnson, owner of Orbital Socket

• Derrick Davis, owner of Informatic Concepts

• Mac Everett III, retired banker and philanthropist

• Sharon Matthews, senior employee relations consulting leader at Wells Fargo

• Cedric Thomas, general manager at Cox Media Group

• Keva Walton, CEO at Mecklenburg County ABC Board

• Reginald Bean, principal and founder at White Label Management Group

• Jason Wolf, real estate entrepreneur at Wolf Garretson

• Daniel Levine, CEO at Levine Properties

• Chris Elliott, partner at Glandon Capital

• Anita Staton, owner at Miles Enterprise Solutions

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