Venture Capital: Forums For Diversity and Inclusion, On Both Sides Of The Pond
Less than 1% of start-up founders who receive venture capital funding are Black, according to the nonprofit Transparent Collective.
“Access All” is a new, virtual, pitching event for founders from under-represented groups such as blacks, Asians, and other minorities. It is an initiative from a group of U.K.-based VCs to counter the inequities in the venture funding system as visible from a bias in favor of privileged and “more equal” founders, and against certain ethnicities. (Tech Crunch)
Leading VCs will be present
On September 30, Access All will feature leading and prominent VCs from London. These include Downing Ventures, Playfair Capital, SpeedInvest, and SoftBank, as well as Microsoft, Amazon, Accenture, and O2.
Invited BAME founders (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnics) can pitch their startups at the event. Accountants and content writers from the organizers will provide free support. They will review the founders’ business plans and help them prepare for their pitch.
Floww, Force Over Mass, and Wayra UK are organizing AccessAll.
CNBC Inclusion in Action Forum (September 10-11)
On the other side of the Atlantic, CNBC’s Inclusion in Action Forum examines the role of business leaders in creating diversity, equity, and equal opportunity in their organizations.
CNBC is conducting the virtual forum in partnership with The Executive Leadership Council. The Council is the leading membership organization for Black CEOs, c-suite executives, and board directors of F1000 companies.
It is dedicated to increasing the number of Black executives in the c-suite and on corporate boards. It also focuses on building the talent pipeline of the next generation of Black corporate executives.
In a telling statistic, just four CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are Black.
Speaking at the forum, Morgan DeBaun, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Blavity, said that Silicon Valley often engaged in “pattern-matching” to the detriment of young Black founders – who “tend to look a little different.” (CNBC)
DeBaun said venture capitalists needed to overcome their biases and rework their investment criteria so that more funds could flow to Black founders.
“This is actually how innovation is made — when you go outside of the immediate opportunity and you really think about, ‘Wow. Maybe because this young person is standing in front of me, despite the odds, this is a bet that I want to make,’” said DeBaun.
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