Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE)

About Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE)

ABLE is an enterprise accelerator program designed to strengthen, energize, and support small businesses and nonprofit organizations led by Blacks in the United States.

Adapted from ADN’s Builders of Africa’s Future program that celebrates innovation and impact among early-stage African enterprises, ABLE identifies 15-20 Black business leaders catalyzing an array of sustainable solutions to poverty across multiple sectors at the local and national level. This includes education, healthcare, finance, connectivity, agriculture, and renewable energy, all of which address essential community needs while spurring sustainable growth.

The program is designed to expand economic pathways and advance entrepreneurial efforts through online and in-person training and mentorship that supports the adaptation and innovations of Black entrepreneurs within the current global pandemic and changing economic climate.


Academic Partner


Lead Funder

Seed Funder



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Nominating Partners

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Celebrating Black History Month: Entrepreneurs Make a Pitch for Funding at Silicon Valley Accelerator Program Graduation.

Program Goals

Enterprises emerging from this partnership will

ABLE Provides

ABLE Program Advisory Committee Members

Raj Aji

Raj Aji

General Counsel and
Chief Compliance Officer,

Raj Aji brings more than 20 years experience representing payments, e-commerce and enterprise technology companies. As Senior Vice President and General Counsel at, Raj is responsible for legal, regulatory, and compliance matters affecting the company, including commercial transactions and intellectual property. Prior to joining, he led the legal and compliance team for Intuit’s payments business. Before Intuit, Raj was the SVP and General Counsel at Obopay where he was integral in forming commercial relationships with global banks and telecoms, and deploying mobile payment services in seven countries spanning three continents.

Oriana Branon (Camacho)

Director of Corporate Communications,

Oriana Branon (Camacho) is an award-winning public relations professional currently leading corporate communications at With over 15 years of experience in both B2B and B2C companies, she loves storytelling for mission-driven businesses, fueling both her professional and personal passion to give back to the community-at-large.

She’s been recognized as a 2020 San Francisco Business Times 40 under 40 award winner, 2019 Woman of Influence by the San Francisco Business Times, and 2018 PR Week 40 under 40 award recipient, and featured in both Forbes and Latina Style for being a pioneering Latina. Personal pieces published in The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Los Angeles Times, and Chispa Magazine.
Jackie Bouvier Copeland

Jackie Bouvier Copeland

Founder and President/CEO The WISE Fund
Founder, Black Philanthropy Month

A social and environmental justice leader, Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland is Founder and President/CEO of The Women Invested to Save Earth (WISE) Fund, an innovation enterprise, supporting grassroots Black and Indigenous women climate change innovators in Africa, Brazil, Australia and the USA. Founder of Black Philanthropy Month, a global campaign to document, celebrate and promote African-descent giving, social investment and venture funding that has reached 17 million people, she also is an award-winning social change visionary, recognized as a HistoryMaker by the US Congress for her innovative civic contributions. Her life mission is to promote the wellness and rights of humanity and the planet that we all share.
Nousheen Eslambolchi

Nousheen Eslambolchi

Chief of Staff, Visby Medical

Nousheen Eslambolchi has more than 20 years of experience in the Tech and Medical Device industries. She joined Visby Medical earlier this year in the fight against Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Prior Nousheen was Director of Innovation at eBay Inc. leading a 2500+ employee Innovation Program, an incubator for groundbreaking ideas, and the place where participants could shape the future of eBay with a project they believe in. Prior to that, she led the design, development, and manufacturing of Boston Scientific’s Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting device. Nousheen is passionate about inspiring youth to think about our planet’s most pressing needs and instill the belief that they can make a difference. She is involved with several organizations and programs that provide education and opportunities to youth to create a better world for their generation and beyond
Jacqueline Hendy

Jacqueline Hendy

Senior Vice President of
Human Resources

Jacqueline Hendy is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at She is a strategic human resources leader who has deep experience in building HR infrastructure, implementing talent management strategies and leadership coaching.Before joining, Jacqueline was the founder and principal of the J2 Consulting Group, which focused on strategic HR initiatives. Prior to that, she led the global talent management function for Equinix and the HR department at PayCycle, Inc. She has also held leadership roles at Genus, AIXTRON, AG and Intuit.
Helen Kim

Helen Kim

Strategy & Operations for Engineering, Product & Design at Pinterest

Helen Kim is a Senior Operations Executive with expertise leading Product, Engineering and Program Management teams in high-tech, e-commerce and professional services. Successful track record with strategic planning, and proven ability to develop and inspire cross-functional teams to deliver bottom line business objectives while achieving customer success. She is currently the Strategy & Operations for Engineering, Product & Design at Pinterest. Prior to Pinterest, she was an executive at multiple tech companies including, eBay, Yahoo, McAfee and VeriSign.
Thane Kreiner

Thane Kreiner

CEO, Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), Co-Founder, Black Corporate Board Readiness Program

Thane is a CEO, board member, and independent advisor with over 27 years leading systemic change to improve health and wellness for people and planet by creating strategy, driving innovation, and building successful enterprises. He is committed to diversity and inclusion, informing corporate purpose, ESG strategies, and high-performance teams. He currently serves on the Board of Conservation X Labs; is a founding member of the Silicon Valley Executive Center’s Advisory Board; and is co-founder of the Black Corporate Board Readiness program.
Dr. Michael Moscherosch

Dr. Michael Moscherosch

Director R&D, Fellow, Social Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

Michael has 25 years of experience with Johnson & Johnson Consumer in Research, Development & Engineering as well as Sustainability, both in North America and Germany. In his current role his main focus is on social innovation, finding and incubating health related startup companies in sub-Saharan Africa. Michael holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Lyndon Mouton

Lyndon Mouton

Investor and COO
New Paradigm Technology Partners

Lyndon Mouton is an entrepreneurial leader in the alternative investments space, covering the spectrum of private equity assets across a range of industries. He currently works as an investor and COO at New Paradigm Technology Partners, a multi-family investment firm focusing on venture capital investments in the CPG and Tech sectors. Bachelors in Finance and Economics from Babson College and an MBA from Columbia University.
Guy Primus

Guy Primus

CEO and Board Member

Guy Primus is a technology executive with over 20 years of experience operating at the intersection of media and innovation. Throughout his career, Guy has demonstrated the ability to combine technology and popular culture to create aggressive organic growth for companies from early-stage startups to Fortune 100. He is also lead inventor on two patents in the digital media/Ad Tech space. Guy currently serves as CEO and board member at Valence, a venture-backed company whose mission is to create new paths to success for Black professionals.

Lead Academic Advisor - Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Dennis Lanham

Dennis Lanham

Sr. Assistant Dean and Executive Director, Silicon Valley Executive Center

Dennis Lanham is the Sr. Assistant Dean of Executive Education, and Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Executive Center at Santa Clara University. With more than 15+ years of experience in business education, nonprofit, and program management, Dennis has built numerous programs for businesses and working professionals across industries in leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, operations, and many other business-critical areas. He has worked with dozens of corporate clients and university partners and has built more than ten open enrollment programs from the ground up.

Almaz Negash

Almaz Negash

Founder of ADN & Executive Director

In 2010, Almaz founded African Diaspora Network (ADN) to inform and engage Africans in the diaspora and facilitate direct collaboration with social entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders globally.

Program Director of DEI Initiatives

Heather Buffington-Anderson

Heather Buffington-Anderson

Program Director of DEI Initiatives at the Silicon Valley Executive Center at Santa Clara University.

Heather Buffington-Anderson currently serves as the Program Director of DEI Initiatives at the Silicon Valley Executive Center at Santa Clara University. In this role, she works with our partners at the African Diaspora Network to manage the Accelerated Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship program. Additionally, Heather directs and manages the Women’s Corporate Board Readiness Program, the Black Corporate Board Readiness Program. Prior to her current role, Dr. Buffington-Anderson served as an Assistant Professor of Music History & Ethnomusicology at Claflin University and directed several grant initiatives aimed at closing opportunity gaps for HBCU students entering the workforce.

ADN Program Lead

Debra Pacio

Manager, Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement

Debra manages ADN's entrepreneurship programs, including Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) and Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF). Previously as a freelance writer, she has contributed to the content and program development of the flagship African Diaspora Investment Symposium and the Impact and Innovation Forums since 2015. Debra has also served as a high school teacher in the Bay Area and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Stanford University.

ABLE Partner Testimonials