Garry Johnson III is an award winning startup founder and nationally recognized ecosystem builder working to build a more inclusive and equitable innovation economy. He's been recognized as a Delaware Business Times 40 Under 40 honoree, HBCU.vc & Hen Hatch Pitch Competition Winner, StartupAfrica Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, Siegfried Award Recipient, among other accolades. He enjoys sharing his views as an innovation activist in op-eds, such as “Delaware Business Community, You’re Officially on Notice.” published in Technical.ly Delaware.
Garry received his B.S. in Exercise Science, as well as a M.S. in Entrepreneurship & Design, from the University of Delaware. While currently teaching as an adjunct entrepreneurship professor at UD, he is also pursuing an MBA at Howard University.
Garry is the Founder & Executive Director of First Founders Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization on a mission to lower barriers to entry and increase the likelihood of success in the innovation ecosystem. This organization helps early-stage entrepreneurs launch successful startups through their accelerator programs, community support, and access to resources. The First Founders community currently includes more than 200+ entrepreneurs from around the world, and has helped them raise $300k+ in non-dilutive funding.
Garry's startup experience includes launching an award-winning fintech startup which provided solutions in small business lending & personal financial management. His fintech experience led him to graduating from Dorm Room Fund’s inaugural Blueprint Project.
Garry is passionate about supporting the Delaware startup ecosystem by serving on the Tech Forum Board of Directors & Horn Alumni Council. Nationally, his entrepreneur support experience ranges from advising teams in National Science Foundation’s I-Corps programs, mentoring startups in Backstage Capital’s Philadelphia Accelerator, and supporting the launch of the BH Ventures Accelerator in Houston, Texas.