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BLCK VC Launches Scout Network To Better Support Aspiring Black Investors

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...

Jul 13, 2021

Meet the 6 Emerging GPs Who Are Now Recipients of Alpaca VC's $2.5M Diversity Commitment

Alpaca VC just revealed the six emerging GPs (General Partners) selected for their $2.5 million diversity commitment! Back in July, the company vowed to write three to five checks ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000 each, according to a blog post . However, they ultimately ended up writing six thanks to their initiative to commit $2.5 million of independent GP capital to Black and Latino/Latina investing partners. “We are thrilled to partner with these managers to create an impact in the ecosystem while driving impact to our fund,” the company wrote in an article on Medium . “Our chosen, diverse GPs can provide us access to underserved founder networks far better than we can ourselves today. In turn, we can help these select GPs beyond just providing them money. We can follow on to their investments; we can introduce them to LPs and other funding sources, and we can help them institutionalize their fund and processes. A truly synergistic relationship.” The process wasn’t easy, with...

Oct 26, 2020

Jay-Z, Kevin Hart and NFL Players Invest in 'Hungry' Startup

Hip hop billionaire Jay-Z continues to make power moves in business. For his latest business endeavor, the “4:44” rapper is teaming up with NFL players, including Bobby Wagner and Todd Gurley, to invest in Hungry’s $20 million Series B round, according to Forbes .   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by HUNGRY (@tryhungry) on Mar 5, 2020 at 6:38am PST However, this isn’t Hov’s first seat at this startup’s table. Last year,  Hungry, which connects chefs with companies looking for catered meals, saw a hefty investment from Mr. Carter’s $85 million Marcy Ventures Fund . Since, according to reports, there’s an uptick in Hungry’s valuation, attracting additional interest from comedian superstar Kevin Hart. “Hungry is leveling the playing field for chefs and giving them economic opportunities that they never had before. I’m a big supporter of what this business stands for,” Hart said. Hungry was founded in 2016 by brothers Eman and Shy Pahlavani. With the help of Jay-Z, Hart,...

Mar 6, 2020

More Women Became VC Partners Than Ever Before in 2019 But Only 1 of Them Was Black

2019 was a groundbreaking year for women in regards to venture capital (VC) firms as 52 women were named VC partners or general partners. This figure sets a historic achievement in an industry that struggles to incorporate women leaders. However, according to an All Raise report, only one of the 52 newly-named VC partners identifies as African American. The All Raise report highlights the unprecedented figure (52 women) and the resulting 37 percent increase from the previous year. However, VC firms still have a long way to go in the struggle for diversity and inclusion as it relates to Black women and women of color VC partners. According to the report, Black and Latinx individuals hold the lowest percentages in venture, with 0.67 percent and 3.22 percent respectfully from 2010-2015. The report comes at a time when VCs and other funding institutions, like Goldman Sachs , are employing new policies that will ensure the future of more women-led startups. As women continue to reach new...

Feb 12, 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