CEMDI Programs

CEMDI ACCELERATOR

CEMDI will accelerate high-potential emerging developers by meeting them where they are and providing resources, connections and expertise to help them grow their businesses to the next level. Many developers get their start learning from a mentor or relative and benefit from access to equity investments or loans from friends and family. These informal networks and ties to generational wealth help support entrepreneurs as they launch their business. Due to historic disinvestment and restrictions over generations in minority communities, fewer emerging entrepreneurs have access to mentors with strong industry relationships, experience and generational wealth.

The CEMDI Accelerator incorporates all six of CEMDI’s strategies by leveraging the relationships and expertise of the CEMDI principals. The CEMDI Accelerator is not a cohort-based program, but instead offers one-on-one advice to three to five emerging developers each year. The CEMDI principals will work closely with each emerging developer to understand their business and identify a customized path to success as defined by a new deal, joint-venture partnership, equity investment, growth of their development team and/or strategic relationship.

CEMDI ROUNDTABLE

One of the best ways for an emerging firm to grow is to enter into a joint-venture partnership with an experienced firm. This allows the emerging developer to bring their skills and experience to the project as a partner with responsibility for both the profits and losses the project generates. By securing a seat at the table, building credit, reputation and track record, emerging developers gain the experience needed to take on larger projects.

The CEMDI Roundtable advances the strategy of connecting emerging developers to joint-venture partners to provide access to development opportunities and mentorship. The roundtable will create a venue for C-suite development professionals to build a sense of community and to establish relationships between established and emerging developers that set the stage for future partnerships, informal mentorship opportunities and mutually beneficial business relationships. CEMDI anticipates that opportunities for policy advocacy on issues of mutual concern will likely arise organically over the course of meetings initially led by CEMDI’s principals. Participants will help shape the program to be meaningful and relevant to
their businesses.

CEMDI
SUMMIT

One of the best ways for an emerging firm to grow is to enter into a joint-venture partnership with an experienced firm. This allows the emerging developer to bring their skills and experience to the project as a partner with responsibility for both the profits and losses the project generates. By securing a seat at the table, building credit, reputation and track record, emerging developers gain the experience needed to take on larger projects.

The CEMDI Summit advances the the strategy of connecting emerging developers to joint-venture partners to provide access to development opportunities and mentorship. The roundtable will create a venue for C-suite development professionals to build a sense of community and to establish relationships between established and emerging developers that set the stage for future partnerships, informal mentorship opportunities, and
mutually beneficial business relationships. CEMDI anticipates that opportunities for policy advocacy on issues of mutual concern will likely arise organically over the course of meetings initially led by CEMDI’s principals. Participants will help shape the program to be meaningful and relevant to their businesses.

CEMDI
CONNECTS

For developers to scale and grow, they need relationships, connections and access to professional service firms to grow their development team. Having strong relationships provides opportunities for both formal and informal mentorship, and provides a launchpad for business relationships to grow over time. CEMDI Connects will expand the professional networks of commercial real estate
professionals of color.

CEMDI Connects primarily advances two strategies: connecting emerging developers to professional service firms to build the capacity of their development teams and back-office infrastructure and connecting  emerging developers to financial resources for formal educational and other professional development programs. CEMDI Connects will do this by engaging, supporting and adding capacity to the commercial real estate ecosystem for minority developers in Chicago. Specific programs are anticipated to include a series of networking, firm showcases and community workshop events, and online resources. This programming will provide opportunities for minority professionals in real estate-related fields (e.g., architecture, accounting, engineering, finance, construction, etc.) to build their networks, put together development teams and broaden their professional experience.