A leading Black firm in venture capital is working with one of today’s top Black founders.

According to a press release, Base10 Partners and Robert F. Smith’s Student Freedom Initiative have joined to provide Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with more access to venture capital.

Greater Access To Capital For HBCUs

HBCUs oftentimes face barriers when stepping into the VC space. This partnership wants to directly address it with a solution-based approach including no minimum investments, no management fees, reduced holding period, and sharing of profits with HBCUs, per the press release. Overall, it’s working toward expanding the endowments of HBCUs with increasing their risk adjusted returns — which in turn will “reduce the student loan debt burden and to increase the resources available to student services.”

“This partnership is another example of what is possible when we are intentional and collaborative. By specifically addressing barriers (e.g., minimum investment, liquidity, expenses, and holding period) which have typically prevented HBCUs from gaining access to alternative investments, this solution will become an integral component in addressing the endowment wealth gap between HBCUs and their white counterparts,” said Smith, Chairman of the Student Freedom Initiative, as well as the Founder, Chairman, CEO, Vista Equity Partners, according to the press release. 

He continued: “We look forward to working with Base10 Partners and other strategic partners to assist HBCUs taking advantage of this opportunity, and we call on others to join us in increasing the competitiveness and resilience of all HBCUs using similar, scalable solutions.”

Advancement Initiative

Base10 Partners and Student Freedom Initiative teaming up is an extension of what the VC firm has done the groundwork for. As previously reported by AfroTech, last year the firm raised a $250 million fund for the Advancement Initiative — which was launched to connect HBCU endowments and student scholarships to venture capital.