Jessica Straus

by & filed under Diversity, NVCA Blog.

This week, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Diversity Task Force together with Dow Jones VentureSource, and CrunchBase have launched the 2015 Venture Census to take on the critical challenge of measuring the demographics of the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem. We invite every employee of venture capital firms and startups to participate in the 2015 Venture Census to anonymously contribute data about their personal and professional backgrounds.

We are launching our research project to quantify the current baseline related to diversity of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, to track its progress going forward and to promote best practices across the industry to increase diversity.

If we are going to continue to innovate, we need to work together to ensure talented individuals can pursue opportunities to build and grow companies that can change the world. In 2014, we launched the NVCA Diversity Task Force, a solutions-oriented, collaborative and long term effort to advance inclusion across the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Increasing business formation by minority and female entrepreneurs is critical to spur the creation of scalable, venture-backed companies that produce innovative products and services, and create jobs nationwide and globally. However, over the past 15 years, only 2.7% of venture-backed startups have had a woman CEO, according to the Diana Project study from Babson College.

We believe an inclusive focus and a commitment to research will help increase the percentage of women and minorities working for venture capital firms or in venture-backed startups, particularly in the key roles of investing partner, engineering, and senior leadership.

Through collaborative efforts with other organizations, we aim to expand connections between experienced investors and entrepreneurs.  In addition, we are focused on developing industry-wide best practices to support diverse founders and investors in the innovation economy.

We believe robust data can drive positive transformation. By contributing your individual data anonymously to the 2015 Venture Census, you are helping to benchmark the current diversity of the innovation ecosystem and supporting a broader effort to identify solutions that advance opportunity for everyone who desires to build or invest in new ideas.

When we started the Diversity Task Force, we established two clear goals to shape our pathway toward building solutions and resources – collaboration and research.

First, we prioritized outreach to broad networks to learn from and collaborate with individuals and organizations who are focused on addressing inclusion.  We spoke to entrepreneurs, emerging managers, code academies, universities, HBCUs, nonprofits and others who spend every day leveraging the talent of the startup ecosystem. We wanted to hear their unique points of view the challenges they faced in progressing in the innovation economy.

We believe robust data can drive positive transformation. By contributing your individual data anonymously to the 2015 Venture Census, you are helping to benchmark the current diversity of the innovation ecosystem and supporting a broader effort to identify solutions that advance opportunity for everyone who desires to build or invest in new ideas.

Follow this link to take the survey.