When it comes to funding startups, particularly in tech, women and people of color remain drastically underserved. Village Capital, a venture capital firm that seeks out founders in whom to invest time and money, shares their efforts to be inclusive and to intentionally seek out a more diverse group of founders. While it’s still only a fraction of companies led by women and founders of color, it’s a start, and we were encouraged by the approach taken by Village Capital. Read more and click through to learn about their selection model, how they diversify from the beginning with the pipeline of potential founders to fund, accounting for bias, and more.
By Alana Matos
One of the most pressing challenges we are facing in the startup ecosystem today is the staggeringly low number of diverse foundersreceiving VC funding. In the last year, investors awarded women a quarter of the investment they were seeking– male founders, in turn, received half. The numbers are even shockingly lower for founders of color. To challenge this, several VC firms have been working through these issues and coming up with innovative ways to reach and invest in diverse teams.
Village Capital is one of the leaders in this space, and have been working to level the playing field in tech. They are a venture capital firm that finds, trains, and invests in high potential founders that are solving real-world problems. Their goal is to support founders and companies that would traditionally be underrepresented, using a unique model for identifying and supporting companies.
Their model is unique in that it utilizes a peer selection process to identify which company will receive an investment. The team at Village Capital selects 10-12 startups that participate in a multi-month program, and at the end, the companies must pick which two startups receive a $50,000-100,000 investment. The Village Capital fund continues to make additional investments in this portfolio over time.