Step Forward: Fueling diversity in the innovation economy


Our inaugural event aimed to drive impactful conversations about the key diversity and parity issues facing the innovation economy.
Recording Date | October 19, 2021

Inspiring ideas to make a difference


Aimed at driving inclusive progress, Step Forward: Fueling Diversity in the Innovation Economy, launched conversations to explore ways to open up opportunities in the innovation ecosystem to more diverse candidates.

We heard inspirational stories and urgent calls for change from several innovation economy leaders. Many of us were moved by these authentic conversations. Following the event, a veteran venture capitalist messaged the event organizers: “All of these participants are only demonstrating to me that I still have so far to go. But, at a youthful 55, I still have a shot.”

We will be updating this page frequently with related content.
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Highlights from Step Forward


Blog | Private Bank
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In her opening remarks, SVB Private Bank's Yvette Butler introduced the conference, and explained why Silicon Valley Bank is focused on making sure that innovation sector is accessible to everyone.
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We were thrilled to have Claude Grunitzky, CEO and Managing Partner at Equity Alliance, join us as the conference's keynote speaker. Claude discussed the lessons he learned as an immigrant entrepreneur and the importance of democratizing access to capital.
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This session focused on a research paper published by Stanford's Marlene Orozco that looked at Black and Latinx risk-taking in the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.
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During this session Courtney Karnes gave a quick overview of SVB's Access to Innovation program. Through this initiative we are helping build a more diverse, equitable and accessible innovation economy.
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This speakers on this panel discussed how they have navigated an asset management industry in which women and people of color have historically been overlooked and underestimated.
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This session featured an in-depth conversation about Broken Chains, a new documentary the racial wealth gap.
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The conference's closing remarks were delivered by Courtney Karnes, who leads SVB's Access to Innovation program. This initiative is helping builds a more diverse, equitable and accessible innovation economy for all.
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This session featured a fireside chat and interactive Q&A with Robin McBride, President and Co-Founder at McBride Sisters Collection and Angela Morris Lovelace, Chief DE&I Officer at Silicon Valley Bank.