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IMG Health Clinic Founders Say Despite 8-Figure Success, Access To Funding Is Hard When VCs Deem Them 'Not Investable'

Securing funding for a Black-owned business is an uphill battle, even when the company has reached massive success.

Apr 11, 2023

Largest Student-Run VC Fund In The U.S. Expands To Atlanta To Get Black Students High-Paying Jobs

The venture capital space is still struggling with its diversity problem, but this student-run equity fund is hoping to use its expansion plan to fix it. University Growth Fund (UGF) — considered the largest student-run equity fund in the country — has partnered up with Ally Ventures to announce that it is expanding its offices to Atlanta in an effort to usher more Black and Brown students into the underrepresented field of venture capital. According to a press release, the equity fund has established a company mission to provide “unique access to the highly-competitive and lucrative career track of venture capital through hands-on experience.” Now stationed in Downtown Atlanta — which is home to 26,000 Black and brown college students — UGF hopes to use its close proximity to the city’s top colleges and universities with diverse student bodies to turn things around for the VC world. “Only 2% of venture capital leaders are Black, making venture capital one of the least diverse...

Jun 10, 2021

Black Tech Nation Ventures is Creating a Fund to Support Black Techies Nationwide

Thanks to an emerging fund, Black entrepreneurs are finally getting the support they’ve been waiting on. Black Tech Nation — a multi-faceted tech organization — is described as building a “#DigitalWakanda through education, digital media, recruitment, and funding” for a family of “Black coders, innovators, creators, entrepreneurs, educators, and nerds,” according to the company’s website. In an interview with TechCrunch, Black Tech Nation general partner Kelauni Jasmyn declared the firm’s goal is to simply “get more Black people funded.” Jasmyn, alongside the rest of her team, has been working hard to make this a reality for the Pittsburgh-based organization through its newly-created $50 million first fund with the help of fellow GPs Sean Sebastian and David Motley. Super excited to be among the ranks of VCs purposefully putting #VentureCapital behind #BlackTech , Black-led startups, and entrepreneurs of color! @blacktechnation is more than a community…it's a #DigitalWakanda . Now...

Mar 16, 2021

Northwestern Mutual Commits $20M to Support Black Founders Through VC Fund

Financial services company Northwestern Mutual announced a commitment to combat racism and inequality back in July . Now it’s following through on some of its promises to ensure a better future filled with sustainable change. As part of its long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion, the company has announced new initiatives aimed at supporting Black startup founders across the nation. We are announcing a new accelerator program and $20 million to support Black entrepreneurs. EVP & Chief Product and Innovation Officer, John Grogan, shares our commitment to racial equity in venture capital: — Northwestern Mutual (@NM_Financial) November 18, 2020 According to a press release, the company’s venture capital fund, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, has dedicated a total of $20 million toward investing in startups founded by Black entrepreneurs. “At Northwestern Mutual we’re dedicated to supporting and promoting diversity not just within our company, but...

Nov 25, 2020

5 Black-Owned Venture Capitalist Firms To Fund Your Startup

The number of Black business owners in America is growing at an exponential pace. In fact, the number of African American-owned businesses in the U.S . grew by 60% in recent years. Yet, according to the Census Bureau, of the 949,318 minority-owned businesses in the U.S., Black companies account for only 11.4%. A major reason for the lack of Black-owned businesses is the struggle to obtain sufficient funding. In a world where the odds seem to be stacked against Black entrepreneurs, it’s highly imperative for Blacks to support each other. That’s where Black-owned venture capitalist firms come in. Here are just a few firms you can work with to get your startup off the ground.   Related: Black-Owned VC Firm Closes On $22M Fund For Underrepresented Founders 1. BLACK ANGEL TECH FUND After a panel about the lack of Black startup founders during the 2015 Stanford Black Alumni Summit, a group of Black entrepreneurs and angel investors started the Black Angel Tech Fund . The firm uses funds...

Jan 23, 2020

Snoop Dogg’s VC Firm is Providing Funding to Cannabis Startups

Cannabis startups are having a tough time raising funds due to ambiguous state laws and conflicting federal laws. Although there are 11 states and the District of Colombia that have legalized recreational marijuana use, it is still illegal — according to federal law — to possess or sell marijuana. As a result, big banks and investors are skeptical of investing in cannabis startups but not Snoop Dogg, who isn’t new to the world of venture capital (VC). The rapper’s venture capital firm, Casa Verde Capital, stepped in to lead the charge of providing marijuana startups with access to funds. GreenMarket reports that Casa Verde led a $7 million funding round for Bespoke Financial, an investment firm created to provide startup founders with business loans that they otherwise would not be privy to because of investor’s skepticism of the cannabis market. In a Penta interview , Casa Verde’s partner — Karan Wadhera — explained that Snoop approached him in 2014. He encouraged him to become...

Oct 30, 2019

Elliott Robinson Joins Bessemer Venture Partners

Bessemer Venture Partners has tapped Elliott Robinson to lead growth equity investments in enterprise software and cloud computing technology. Robinson’s experience with BLCK VC — a firm focused on Black investors and founders — and technology-centered investment fund, M12, makes him ideal for his new Bessemer position. Robinson said working with Bessemer is ” a dream come true” via Twitter. “Now, more than ever, the best companies have a ton of options when choosing their venture capital and growth equity investment partners,” Robinson told Afrotech. Robinson said that he has learned many lessons throughout his time working in venture capital, but that maintaining a good reputation is one of the most important ones. “I’ve found that your reputation, value add, and what others say about you as a VC will always be more important than your brand, social media following and what you say about yourself,” Robinson said. Robinson says founders aren’t only basing their decision solely on...

Apr 29, 2019

South Africa Launches New Fund To Help Small And Medium Businesses

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country has launched a new $95 million fund to help grow small and medium-sized businesses as part of its CEO Initiative. South Africa’s government, business leaders and labor leaders partner to solve some of the countries largest economic issues for the CEO Initiative. Now, its latest fund will serve as a big step in the right direction. According to Focus Economics , South Africa has had slow economic growth since its recession last year, and now the country is taking steps to reverse its impact. Back in May, Ramaphosa helped pass economic reforms that would ultimately put South Africa back on the path to growth. Last month, Ramaphosa signed the Competition Amendment Bill aimed at boosting small and medium sized business in addition to expanding innovation and investing in the economy. The SA SME Fund will allocate capital to three types of funds — venture capital, growth, and social impact funds. These funds will invest...

Apr 2, 2019

Founder Gym and Google are Teaming Up to Help Minority Founders

Founder Gym , the popular 6-week online training program for entrepreneurs, is partnering with Google to elevate more underrepresented founders and help them gain the skills to scale their businesses. Google and Founder Gym’s first project was a pilot program that started last March. “For the first time, Founder Gym is bridging this gap by giving underrepresented founders the opportunity to be directly trained by some of the most experienced and successful venture capitalists and founders in the world,” Founder Gym CEO Mandela SH Dixon told AfroTech. Google Startups is paying for startup leaders to participate in Founder Gym’s virtual courses. Founder Gym has online pre-seed and seed cohorts to help founders at various stages of their companies. The pre-seed cohorts offer daytime and evening sessions that educate entrepreneurs on the legal preparation of their company, how to find funding and effectively pitch to investors. The seed cohorts cover topics on the mentalities of venture...

Feb 13, 2019

What Can Be Done to Get More Funding for Black Women-Led Startups?

As more Black women enter the startup world, many are struggling to secure venture capital funding compared to their white male counterparts. In 2017, women received nearly 2.2 percent of the $85 billion available in venture capital funding. According to the ProjectDiane2018 report by digitalundivided, the numbers were even smaller for Black women. Black women represented .0006 percent of the $424.7 billion in total tech venture funding raised since 2009 and a majority of the funding was raised in 2017. The dismal rates at which Black women receive funding reflects a larger issue with diversity in the tech and venture capital spaces. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Deloitte released a report in 2016 that showed that Blacks accounted for 3 percent of the VC workforce and that women accounted for 45 percent. Black people only comprise 2 percent of senior positions at VC firms. “Research shows that diverse teams make better decisions and, with this baseline...

Feb 5, 2019

CTA Announces $10 Million Fund for Women and Diverse Founders

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced that it will invest $10 million in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of color and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs. CTA’s multi-million dollar fund targets the disproportionate amount of venture capital that women and minority-led companies receive. In 2017, women received nearly 2.2 percent of the available venture capital funding which totaled $85 billion. “To continue to evolve and grow, the tech industry needs more equal access to venture funding,” said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a press release . “Various research reports indicate diverse teams make better decisions and achieve greater profits. At CTA, this is one more tool we are deploying to help promote diversity in the technology industry.” CTA has previously been criticized for having gender-bias and a lack of diversity at its events. Lora DiCarlo, a women-focused company, was supposed to receive an innovation award at this...

Jan 10, 2019