The Florida A&M University Foundation announced that it has contributed to the $25 million Fearless Fund led by FAMU alumnae, Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons. The venture capital fund seeks to address the gap that exists in venture capital funding for WOC-led businesses.
With the motto, “built by women of color for women of color,” the Fearless Fund aims to address the historically underserved women who seek venture capital funding to build scalable, growth aggressive companies. According to WCTV, the FAMU Foundation has an investment value of $142 million and an endowment value of $106 million.
“This marks an historic moment in the history of the FAMU Foundation,” says executive director Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D. “We are charged with investing in and for the future of our great institution. We expect this investment to pay dividends for generations to come.”
The fund reportedly seeks to invest in more than 40 women of color-founded startups in the tech, CPG, beauty and fashion industries. Their portfolio currently includes six Black women led companies including Roshawnna Novellus of EnrichHER, Alicia Scott of Range Beauty, Angela Benton of Streamlytics, and more.
So far companies such as Paypal, Bank of America, Invest Atlanta and Costco have all invested in the fund.
“This investment from Florida A&M University is an exciting addition to our fund and furthers our mission to bridge the gap in VC funding for female founders of color,” says Simone. “As an alumnus of Florida A&M University, having them invest in what we are building with the Fearless Fund means all the more to me.”