Consumer tech giant Best Buy just found a huge way to pledge its support toward Black and brown entrepreneurs in the tech industry.
According to a press release, Brown Venture Group — a venture capital (VC) firm created to fund Black, Latinx and Indigenous tech entrepreneurs — announced that Best Buy has committed up to $10 million to its $50 million inaugural fund, considered one of the largest in the country dedicated to this group of techpreneurs. This commitment from Best Buy builds on its recent pledge to spend at least $1.2 billion with diverse businesses by 2025 with a focus on the tech industry.
“We’re committed to taking meaningful action to address the challenges faced by BIPOC entrepreneurs,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement. “Through partnerships like this, we believe we can begin to do this by helping to build a stronger, more vibrant community of diverse innovators in the tech industry, some of whom we hope will become partners of Best Buy in the future.”
Brown Venture Group’s majority Black-led VC organization was originally founded back in 2018 with a goal to raise $50 million to invest back into entrepreneurs of color, who historically have not had much access to venture capital like their white counterparts. The idea behind the fund is to remove these economic barriers so these businessmen and women can thrive in their own endeavors.
In addition to Best Buy’s investment, Brown Venture Group will also work with the consumer tech retailer to form a stronger community of diverse suppliers in its network. Moreover, both parties will also team up to launch an entrepreneurial partnership program at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to build up the next generation of young entrepreneurs through “education, mentoring, networking and funding access.”
“The partnership with Best Buy, represents an important shift in our business community from doing things for communities of color to investing and executing with communities of color in longer-term collaborative business relationships,” Brown Venture Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Dr. Paul Campbell said in a statement. “This hometown partnership is especially meaningful and Best Buy is to be commended for its commitment to co-creating solutions that will lead to greater economic flourishing for contributors of color.”
Brown Venture Group’s mission statement says that “we envision a world where fully funded Black, Latino & Indigenous tech startups launch, scale, and reinvest enthusiastically,” according to its website. With Best Buy backing its goal to empower tech entrepreneurs of color, the organization is on track to fulfill its commitment that could potentially shift the funding and VC landscape in tech.
For more information about Brown Venture Group, visit its website.