Black venture capitalists changing the venture capital industry

by MMC
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  • DEI is a hot topic as billionaires and lawsuits debate whether it is necessary.
  • Black investors who specifically support startup founders of color are not deterred by these efforts.
  • These Black venture capital firms hope to change the industry by investing in more underrepresented startup founders.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a hot topic of conversation lately, especially among billionaires who don’t see the need,

DEI initiatives have been intensely scrutinized after the US Supreme Court invalidated the use of affirmative action in college admissions last year, and it has had ripple effects throughout the business world. There has been a continued backlash against DEI companies. And this manifests itself in DEI departments are shrinking and legal proceedings, such as the current one lawsuit against venture capital firm Fearless Fund by a conservative nonprofit organization claiming its grant program is discriminatory.

Funds like Fearless Fund and many of them on this list have been backed by companies commit to focusing on DEI more on hiring and funding following the killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. But now, nearly four years later, much of that progress appears at risk of being rolled back because the DEI has fallen out of favor in some parts of the corporate world. . However, billionaires like Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan and Mark Cuban believe that diversity must remain a priority.

For venture capital firms whose investment theses center around supporting underrepresented startup founders, many are undeterred given the bleak situation.

“We will continue to do what we were created to do,” Claude Grunitzky, CEO of The Equity Alliance, wrote in a recent newsletter. “If some investors are now afraid of our DEI mandate, our focus on racial and gender equity, that’s OK. We’re not shaking in our boots.”

Many other Black VCs are tackling long-standing DEI issues in the VC industry by slowly shifting investment toward more underrepresented founders who have traditionally been overlooked.

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