While Detroit’s tech ecosystem is booming, the venture-backed startup teams raising a record amount of funding fail to reflect the diversity of the Motor City, according to a new report.
EntryPoint—a startup entrepreneurial community dedicated to fostering inclusion—released the 2018 Detroit Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report showing a 54 percent increase in the number of Detroit venture-backed startups in the last four years. The report found that 18 of the 37 active startups raised $41 million in venture capital investment.
In a city where the Black population is nearly 80 percent, the tech community is 85 percent white men. Despite the growth, only three out of the 37 active startups are led by a diverse founder.
“We’re really seeing that Detroit has a flourishing high-tech entrepreneur ecosystem and it’s really not hard to see why, whether it’s robust engineering talent, a lower cost of living, proximity to (research institutions),” said Emily Heintz, founder and managing director of EntryPoint, told Crain’s Detroit Business. ” What does give us … cause for concern is really the lack of diversity …”
However, the three companies led by racial minorities have raised over five percent of the total venture capital in Wayne County last year.
Read the full report here.