Morgan Stanley doubles the number of start-ups in a program to develop women and multicultural entrepreneurs

  • This year's start-ups include a clean-energy company, two entertainment-oriented services, health and beauty enterprises, a lab testing service and a financial app.
  • Banks have been eager to develop and invest in young companies, particularly those involved in financial technology. But they have also promoted programs that aim at improving diversity.
Electronic signage at the headquarters of Morgan Stanley in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Electronic signage at the headquarters of Morgan Stanley in New York.

Ten women and minority-led start-ups make up the second-annual class in a Morgan Stanley program aimed at developing entrepreneurs.

They include a clean energy company, two entertainment-oriented services, health and beauty enterprises, a lab testing service and a financial app.

Morgan Stanley started the Multicultural Innovation Lab last year to boost fledgling companies that are owned and run by women and minorities. This year's participants were chosen from among 300 applications. They will get office space at Morgan Stanley's Manhattan headquarters and access to advice and assistance from bankers over the next six months. In November, each will make a formal presentation to possible investors.

Morgan Stanley invests $200,000 in each start-up.

This year's program, which starts Monday, is double the size of the inaugural class, which was a success by several measures, according to Carla Harris, the bank's vice chairman of global wealth management and head of its multicultural client strategy group.

One of last year's start-ups was sold during the program, a second moved on to another big incubator, a third raised its valuation and a fourth got contracts with some of the biggest U.S. companies.

"It was always our intention to grow the program," Harris told CNBC, noting the number of applicants for this year's class shows there is a "clear market inefficiency" when it comes to matching venture capital investors with women and multicultural business owners.

Banks have been eager to develop and invest in young companies, particularly those in financial technology. But they have also promoted programs that aim at improving diversity.

J.P. Morgan Chase last month announced plans to spend $1 million to support start-ups run by black and Hispanic women. And Goldman Sachs has run its 10,000 Women program since 2008, with an initial $100 million commitment. In 2014, Goldman's foundation started a loan program to support women as entrepreneurs.

At Morgan Stanley, this year's start-ups are Baby2Body, an app for pregnant women and new mothers; BeautyLynk, a site that matches women to salon services near them; Broadway Roulette, a site where users can purchase discounted Broadway show tickets; CariClub, a site that helps young professionals participate in nonprofits; COI Energy, an energy site; CoSign, an app that lets users buy and sell products on social media; Goalsetter, a savings and gifting site; Hatch, a site that automates software development; myLAB Box, a home health testing site; and Shoobs, a local events and entertainment ticket buying site.