Global professional services firm Accenture announced an investment in virtual reality-based diversity and inclusion learning platform Praxis Labs, led by its venture arm, Accenture Ventures.
Founded in 2019, New York-based Praxis Labs Praxis Labs is a learning and development company focused on JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion). Utilizing virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR), the platform combines evidence based curriculum, immersive workplace scenarios, and actionable insights for training aimed at driving individual and organizational change.
Elise Smith, co-founder and CEO, Praxis Labs, said:
“Developing ‘human skills’ like how to give fact-based feedback or how to navigate difficult conversations are required to create workplaces that are psychologically safe and enable all perspectives to be heard. Immersive equity and inclusion training can play a powerful role in helping companies achieve their goal of having all their employees show up each day confident and equipped to work across differences and build products and services that serve the diversity of their clients and customers.”
In a post announcing the investment, Praxis Labs said that the companies will work together to “deliver transformative immersive learning experiences that help enterprise companies build essential skills that not only foster greater inclusion, collaboration, and innovation.” Accenture added that Praxis Labs will have access to its domain expertise and enterprise clients as well as the opportunity to co-innovate with Accenture at its Innovation Hubs, Labs and Liquid Studios as part of Accenture’s Project Spolight, aimed at helping technology startups to fill strategic innovation gaps.
The investment was funded through Accenture’s Black Founders Development Program which offers direct access to venture capital, corporate mentorship, and strategic connections with Accenture’s business partners and clients, empowering black technology start-up founders.
Kathryn Ross, global Liquid Studios lead and the Black Founders Development Program lead for Accenture Ventures, said:
“Black founder innovations, ingenuity and insights are not being brought to fruition largely because they aren’t receiving adequate funding and support to get their ideas off the ground. Accenture’s Black Founders Development Program was launched to help these entrepreneurs pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. Praxis Labs already provides its immersive diversity and inclusion training offerings to many Fortune 500 companies, and we look forward to introducing them to our clients and partners around the world and supporting their mission of delivering meaningful impact and change.”