HBCUvc, a nonprofit fellowship program providing Black and Latinx students with training and mentorship in venture capital, recently launched its inaugural “31 Under 31” list.
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The list features what HBCUvc describes as Black and Latinx “rising stars in venture capital.” As I looked over the list, I was pleased to realize that Crunchbase News has interviewed a number of the people on it, including: Alex Marshall, former director of platform for Backstage Capital and now of First Round; Maria Salamanca, a venture capitalist at Unshackled Ventures; and Jomayra Herrera, an investor at Emerson Collective, in a story about Latina VCs. However, I was disappointed to realize how many people on the list (which can be viewed in full here) that I didn’t know about.
San Francisco-based HBCUvc said it decided to launch the list “in response to the lack of representation in existing industry lists” and that it aims to serve as a starting point for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists of color to connect more easily.
“This list is not only a way for us to shed light on the need for more racial and ethnic diversity in venture capital, but it also reflects the very best emerging talent working in venture capital today,” said software engineer Hadiyah Mujhid, founder of HBCUvc and Black Founders. “By creating a platform of visibility for our younger leaders, we aim to create support that will strengthen the pipeline and increase the number of future Black and Latinx partners and fund managers.”
Covering founders and investors from diverse backgrounds is something we strive to do more of. In fact, we recently reported on a study that revealed some sobering statistics regarding who gets funded. There are various statistics available regarding diversity of investors but perhaps the most widely reported is that just one percent of venture capital professionals identify as Black or Latinx, according to the National Venture Capital Association. And we’ve heard from participants on both sides of the investor table that more needs to be done to encourage and support diversity.
Mujhid told Crunchbase News that as part of its efforts, HBCUvc recently entered into a partnership with Intel Capital to strengthen its curriculum and scale its programming.
“Through our partnership, we’ll be able to expose our students to new networks in venture capital and build relationships with industry professionals they previously did not have access to,” she said. “While they are not directly involved in our ‘31 Under 31’ initiative, Intel does share our vision for a more inclusive venture capital and tech ecosystem.”
Also, earlier this month, HBCUvc launched a new initiative with PledgeLA, an alliance between the LA mayor’s office, Annenberg Foundation, and local VC firms, to give underrepresented minority college students hands-on experience in venture capital.
In general, Mujhid said there needs to be an “intentional allocation” of capital to Black and Latinx fund managers and VC decision makers.
“Institutional LPs need to re-examine their social responsibility charters and assess if they are investing equitably – through a racial, ethnicity, gender lens – or if they are contributing to existing inequities,” she told Crunchbase News. “An honest re-examination with a commitment to fix will lead to a more inclusive and equitable industry.”
Featured image credit: HBCUvc.
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