Nonprofit firm BLCK VC teamed up with Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners to launch a network that supports the next generation of Black investors.
There has been an emergence of scout programs in the venture capital sector, which have helped better connect founders, operators, and angel investors (If you’re unsure of what venture capital scouts are, think of them as the bridge between venture funds and promising companies looking for support).
Through the BLCK VC Scout Network, Black investors will be able to tap into training, mentoring and networking opportunities. BLCK VC launched this initiative after recently discovering that only three percent of venture capital investors are Black. The firm is working to increase diversity in venture capital, so this new network is a step in the right direction.
The BLCK VC Scout Network program will take place over six months, across three phases focused on education, community, and deal flow. Twice a year, BLCK VC will welcome cohorts of 15-20 aspiring and established scouts from any firm to participate. The inaugural cohort includes scouts from Sequoia, Lightspeed, Accel, Bonfire Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Necessary Ventures, Index Ventures, Wing VC, Noemis Ventures, and RareBreed Ventures.
The inaugural cohort recently wrapped up phase one of the BLCK VC Scout Network last week, which was a four-week virtual intensive program packed with speaker and training sessions and deal group meetings. The cohort will be moving into phase two next week, which will span five months and include monthly educational and networking dinners led by various venture firms. Phase three, which will culminate the program, will include a final event on Nov. 19 to convene the cohort, Black investors, venture firms and other ecosystem builders.
While scouts won’t be allocated any funds during the program to invest, the BLCK VC Scout Network program hopes to equip participants with all of the tools they need to be successful scout investors.
Both Sequoia and Lightspeed are veterans in the scout training realm, and both firms expressed their excitement of sharing their mutual experiences in a blog post. The founding partners of the BLCK VC Scout Network intend to continue working together for years to come.