Showing posts with label Venture capital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Venture capital. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

List of Black Women who work for venture capitalists

The following lists some of the Black women working for VC firms. While we think this is a good sign, remember - the problem is with the VC model itself, not with the color or gender of the people who populate the firms. You're still not going to be able to get money from these firms unless you fit the demographic they prefer. See: Small Business Financing, Black People and Venture Capital

Black Woman VCs (click on their name to be taken to their Crunchbase profile...or look them up on LinkedIn.)

Jacqueline Grant
Principal, Abingworth

Karen Kerr
Executive Managing Director
GE Ventures

Nicole Walker
Partner, Venture Capital – Healthcare
Baird Capital

Candice Matthews
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Hillman Accelerator

Tracy Gray
Founder and Managing Partner
The 22 Fund

Abyah Wynn
Co-founder and Managing Director
Twenty65 Fund

Monique Idlett-Mosley
Managing Partner
Reign Ventures

Erica Duignan Minnihan
Founding Partner
1000 Angels and Reign Ventures

Nicole Sanchez
Investment Partner at XFactor Ventures

Diane Henry
Technology Angel Investor
Rogue Capital Collective

Lorine Pendleton
New York Chair, TIGER 21
Investment Partner - Portfolia

Ita Ekpoudom
GingerBread Capital

Jillian Williams
Investment Principal
Anthemis Group

Mariah Lichtenstern
Founding Partner and Managing Director
DiverseCity Ventures

Monique Woodard
Early Stage Investor

Hadiyah Mujhid
CEO and Founder

Shauntel (Poulson) Garvey
General Partner
Reach Capital

Sydney Sykes
Co-Founder, Co-Chair

Adina Tecklu
Venture Investor
Canaan Partners

Uriridiakoghene (Ulili) Onovakpuri
Kapor Capital

Sydney Thomas
Senior Associate
Precursor Ventures

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Black People and Venture Capital

I recently gave a talk at the 2015 National Black MBA Association Washington DC Chapter (NBMBAA-DC) Entrepreneurship Expo. My talk, titled “Black People and Venture Capital” available below.
I started with a discussion of the key financial institution in the country, the Federal Reserve, which controls the allocation of capital via monetary policy, the tools used to control the supply of money. The Fed is located at 20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. and I encouraged DC entrepreneurs to visit the institution, since the Fed directly impacts the ability of small businesses to get capital.
I also encouraged Black businesses in DC to use the recently established Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion as a powerful potential source of capital and contracts. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains a provision creating an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) responsible for monitoring diversity efforts at the agencies, regulated entities and agency contractors. (For those unfamiliar with these Offices, we offer a seminar describing in detail the duties and performance of the 29 OMWI Offices. )
In my talk, I cite my belief that crowdfunding, or raising money online for people, projects and products, is one of the only viable ways Black companies can get funded, as detailed in my books on the subject: Top 50 Crowdfunding Campaigns: Fifty Most Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns at: and The JOBS Act: Crowdfunding for Small Businesses and Startups at:
Key trends in crowdfunding include the following:
• Kickstarter and Indiegogo continue to dominate crowdfunding.
• Corporate America is into crowdfunding..major brands, including Kia and Kimberly-Clark, have launched campaigns to test the market for new products.
• Startups raised $204 million through equity models in 2013; that number was expected to top $700 million—7 percent of the overall crowdfunding market—in 2014.

I also discuss my belief that the key to getting angel or venture capital funding lies in being referred to investors by another investor or entrepreneur. A good way to do this is via Keiretsu Forum, a global angel investor network, but I noted they have not funded a single African American firm.

I referenced “Dunbar’s Number”, named for psychologist Robin Dunbar, who found that “humans are able to maintain relationships with no more than roughly 150 people at a time.” Dunbar’s research shows that “when it comes to meeting people who can help you professionally, three degrees of the magic number because when you’re introduced to a second- or third-degree connection, at least one person in an introduction chain personally knows the origin or target person.” 

As I said on Mashable, 1% of VC funding goes to Black people. This is no accident. Other studies have confirmed that “venture capital funding overwhelmingly goes to white men.” Given this, it makes no sense to solicit funding from people you know are not going to fund you. Viable alternatives include crowdfunding, angels, bootstrapping and possibly, bank financing (but not really).

At one point, I outlined a strategy of buying real estate in Black communities to use as an asset for a startup franchise location. Further, I referenced my Blank Crowdfunding Business Slides as one way to begin to outline your startup capital needs.

I discussed using credit cards, personal loans and other resources to accumulate enough capital to start a business and about how “an increasing number of VCs want startups to engage in crowdfunding before requesting backing” but how VCs are still too racist and greedy to allow Black companies the room they need to serendipitously discover and uncover market value. I pointed out how this was exactly how Google uncovered the strategy that eventually led to a $200 billion market value.

Finally, for those determined or foolish enough to pursue VC funding, I discuss the main reasons why people don’t get funded:
  • Your character, integrity or leadership is questionable
  • You failed to spot issues with your team because you’re too trusting, too polite, or too focused on yourself
  • Not referred to investors by another investor or entrepreneur
  • Hard-headed to the point of being unable to listen to input from an experienced, reasonable and knowledgeable investor
  • Not deeply embedded in your niche or area of expertise
  • An inability to stop, and think,
and finally, 
  • 99% of VCs are racist and/or sexist.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Article on Community Lending from today's American Banker

Fintech for Underbanked: The Next M&A Hot Spot?

NOV 7, 2013 5:06pm ET

Think the onset of consumer protections laws stymied M&A for companies who serve the underbanked? You're wrong.

Between July 2012 and June 2013, there were 85 investment banking transactions involving companies in the financial technology and specialty lending realms that focus on consumers with low-to-moderate incomes, according to a study released Wednesday. The authors are the Center for Financial Services Innovation and Core Innovation Capital, a $50 million venture capital fund that specializes in the underbanked market.

The data show the acquisitions, initial public offerings and equity investments had a combined value of $5.2 billion in capital.

The study, which was sponsored by Morgan Stanley, was the authors' first on this topic, so it is unclear if the activity in the year leading up to June 30 rose or fell from past years. That kind of assessment is for next year — this year's report was about defining the size of the market, they say.

"This is a space we are newly defining," says Arjan Schutte, founder and managing partner at Core. "Take payments for instance. Payment overall have been heating up for years now. We are drawing a new circle in a Venn diagram across various types of companies that serve a similar customer base."

The low-to-moderate income market is a complex one for financial companies. Those involved tend to fall into two buckets — missionary or mercenary. The aim of the study is to attract participants from the middle ground between those two extremes, the authors say. They seek companies and investors who want to provide responsible financial products to underbanked customers while still turning a profit.

"We believe in a market-based system," says Rob Levy, director of research for CFSI, a research and consulting organization. "The [financial services] industry doesn't understand or value this market and that's why we did the study — to explain the need. Less competition enables the lower quality providers to own the space. The more good companies that get in, the more competition there is and the better the products will get."

A Morgan Stanley official echoed Levy's sentiments in an email. "By supporting research on the financially underserved, we hope to create opportunities to accelerate financial inclusion in innovative, market-based ways," says Audrey Choi, head of Morgan Stanley's global sustainable finance group.

In the years following the subprime meltdown, there has been an attempt to put in safeguards to prevent predatory practices — the most notable, of course, was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Although the agency, given its sweeping jurisdiction, would appear to scare off companies from entering the mark, Schutte says it could actually inspire more M&A. The startups have been working with the agency since their inception; that existing relationship is attractive to a buyer like a big bank.
"It is tough for a big institution to change their product to be in-line with the regulatory changes," Schutte says. "But a new company that has been talking to CFPB since day one has cracked the code; that's attractive."

The types of companies involved in the transactions vary. The activity was broken down into three categories: specialty credit, which includes small-dollar loans, small-business loans, private student loans and subprime auto loans, made up 42% of the transactions; payments, which include prepaid cards, remittance and bill pay, made up 33%; and other financial technology, including personal financial management tools, alternate data analysis and savings products, made up 25%.

There were 71 equity investments, 11 acquisitions and three IPOs. The sector has piqued the interest of private equity; 84% of all the transactions involved PE. Its investments totaled $947 million.
"This might not get the attention of Twitter's IPO, but a lot is happening," Levy says.

For other players in the underbanked sector, the study's findings were a bit of a mixed bag.

On one hand, the study signals that despite the fighting over economic policy in Washington, "economic activity is rebounding in African-American, minority and low income communities," William Michael Cunningham, social investing advisor of Creative Investment Research, said in an email. "Unfortunately, this has attracted the attention of a group of hyper greedy 'private equity.'"

My added thoughts are:

This is a bad, bad sign for minority, specifically African American consumers in these markets. These are the same discriminatory financial service companies and non-diverse private equity companies that helped cause the financial crisis, that thought "subprime mortgage lending was a real "Innovation." This specifically includes Morgan Stanley, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and the Core Innovation Capital (Core) Fund.

Ask yourself: how many of these private equity and investment firms have any African American employees? Look at total compensation going to African American employees, to compensation going to non-African American employees and to the percentage of revenue and profit from African American consumers.
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