- The first State of Black Venture report finds active Black VC networks are helping expand access
- Increasingly, Black investors are starting new funds
- Still, significant barriers remain to become a partner and raise LP funds
“BLCK VC and SVB intend for this report to set a baseline that can be used to measure future progress”
-Courtney Karnes, Director of Access to Innovation at SVB
Advancements in tech and life science industries are changing our world for the better. And yet, much potential will remain unrealized until the broader ecosystem is representative of society at large. In 2017, SVB launched its signature Access to Innovation program with that very goal in mind, building a more diverse and inclusive innovation economy. We are proud to be a founding partner of BLCK VC’s first State of Black Venture report, which underscores the disparities in access and elicits key questions venture leaders must ask themselves to begin the journey of transformational progress.
The report specifically examines how Black partners and fund managers - the check writers making funding decisions - are increasing their influence, including launching new funds and expanding their networks. It also highlights the systemic barriers faced on the journey to becoming partners and attracting LP funds, particularly at levels required for Series A investments and beyond.
BLCK VC and SVB intend for this report to set a baseline that can be used to measure future progress and galvanize engagement and action. To quote BLCK VC co-founders Sydney Sykes and Frederik Groce, “Our strength comes from our community. Which is why BLCK VC’s mission is based on three pillars: Increase the number of Black venture investors at all levels, advance the careers of those in the industry and provide accurate data on Black venture capital and the startup ecosystem.”
Given our collective experiences, let’s work together to make a difference. Ask yourself, how can I help change perspectives about who makes a successful entrepreneur, VC investor or fund manager? How can I broaden my search for talent or new founders and fund managers to support? How can I increase awareness among my colleagues?
We encourage you to register to join BLCK VC Co-Founders Sydney Sykes and Frederik Groce and SVB Capital President John China on February 17 for a virtual discussion of the report findings. They will be joined by Sydney Thomas, Principal at Precursor Ventures; Henri Pierre-Jacques, Managing Partner at Harlem Capital; and Elliot Robinson, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners for a compelling discussion. Share this report with people in your networks to help encourage greater awareness and action. And visit Access to Innovation to learn how we are working to build a more diverse and inclusive innovation economy for all.
Register for the event HERE.