Top Venture Industry Group Launches Nonprofit to Add Diversity to its Ranks
Rachel Uranga covers the intersection of business, technology and culture. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.
As the country reckons with racial inequity forced to the fore by the George Floyd protests, the National Venture Capital Association launched a nonprofit Tuesday with a focus on building diversity.
Dubbed Venture Forward, the $5.5 million effort had been in the works for years and is being backed by Silicon Valley Bank, Deloitte and Gunderson Dettmer along with dozens of individuals.
The 501(c)(3) will help the industry that bankrolls startups and prides itself on fueling innovation to diversify its ranks.
"It's a long term sustainable way to think about how we are shaping the human capital, the culture, the values and the narrative of venture," said Maryam Haque, the executive director of Venture Forward.
The effort has already been underway and was supposed to be announced in March but was pushed back because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The venture will focus on four areas: diversity and inclusion, education, research and history.
"(Venture) has traditionally not been a very diverse and inclusive ecosystem," she said. "We have seen more progress in terms of women partners coming into roles at venture firms, but it's been very little to no progress when you look at partners that are black or Latinx."
The industry has been dominated by white men. Along with the rest of the nation, it's facing a moment of self reflection. Among the programs are an online university with scholarships geared to those underrepresented in venture.
About 21% of investment professionals in the industry are women, up 6 percentage points from 2016
Venture Forward has a separate board from NVCA. Board members include Christy Chin of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Bobby Franklin of NVCA, Jennifer Friel Goldstein of Silicon Valley Bank, Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures, Ray Leach of JumpStart, Kate Mitchell of Scale Venture Partners and Scott Sandell of NEA.
- Los Angeles' Startup Scene is Still a Male-Dominated Game - dot.LA ›
- a16z VC Firm Launches Fund to Target Diverse Founders - dot.LA ›
- Blck VC Group L aunches 'We Won't Wait' Campaign - dot.LA ›
- Startup Dealmaking in Los Angeles is Down - dot.LA ›
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
It's never been a better time to "murder your thirst."
Seven months after raising more than $9 million in Series A funding, Santa Monica-based canned water startup Liquid Death has raised $23 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by an unnamed consumer-focused family office and participated in by Convivialité Ventures, Fat Mike (NOFX), Pat McAfee, existing investor in Velvet Sea Ventures and others.
You'll soon be able to take a rapid COVID-19 test before boarding a plane at Los Angeles International Airport.
Two design companies — one known for transforming shipping containers into pop-up businesses and homes, another that focuses on an eco-friendly approach to architecture — will erect modular COVID testing center at LAX by Nov. 1. New Jersey-based Clarity Labs will eventually staff those sites with technicians.