The Founders Live Diversity and Inclusion Program
WE BELIEVE entrepreneurship is the greatest driver of innovation and economic empowerment. But too many people with great ideas never get a chance because they don’t have access to mentors, networks, capital or knowledge. Most often these are women, people of color, those who identify with the LGBT communities, and those from diverse economic backgrounds.
Our Social Mission: Creating a more diverse and inclusive community of entrepreneurs around the world.
Founders Live and our partners are working to build a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial community. We empower aspiring entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups by connecting them with knowledge, mentors and networks. We believe with the right tools and access to the entrepreneurial community, anyone and everyone can turn their ideas into success regardless of who you are or where you come from.
Closing The Opportunity Gap
Without access to social networks, social and financial capital, and facing bias in investment decisions, women and underrepresented people of color encounter significant obstacles to launching tech startup ventures, gaining venture capital investment, or becoming tech investors.
- Nearly 98% of venture-backed technology startup founders are White or Asian, and 83% are male.
- Of the gatekeepers to capital investments, 97% are white or Asian,
- 1% of venture capital dollars went to African American and Latino founders in 2016
- 2% went to women founders
Source: The Leaky Tech Pipeline (2018) – Kapor Center for Social Impact
Creating an ecosystem of support for underrepresented entrepreneurs
Social networks are often the gateway to opportunity for entrepreneurs in the form of introductions, recommendations and most importantly financial capital. Many top-tier VC firms rely on “warm intros” to identify investment opportunities. And studies have shown that they are more likely to invest in companies they’re introduced to within their social network. That’s why we’re helping to create an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.
- Community Partnerships: Founders Live is working to create an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs through a network of community partnerships with incubators, funders and advisors that specialize in working with women and minority entrepreneurs, especially in the cities Founders Live currently has a local leadership presence. Through these partnerships we’ll actively invite underrepresented entrepreneurs to the Founders Live community and at the same time identify the critical resources they’ll need to succeed.
- Mentorship – We recruit Founders Live members who can offer knowledge, expertise and introductions and connect them to underrepresented entrepreneurs.
- Referrals – We actively refer women and minority entrepreneurs to resources in their local communities where they can get guidance and support.
Coming Soon: The Founders Live Social Impact Pledge
Our aim is to inspire and empower Founders Live members to give back to the community. We will be issuing a call to action and provide tools and resources to support members’ social impact initiatives.
We are excited to embark on this journey and hope you will join us in not only building an incredible business, but making long lasting positive impact along the way.