NVCA and Collaborators Working to Build a More Inclusive Ecosystem

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today issued a new report, Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, showcasing the work of the NVCA Diversity Task Force and others over the past 18 months to advance a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystemThe report features actions taken by NVCA and its member firms to directly address the lack of underrepresented groups participating in venture capital and entrepreneurship and provides an overview of diversity and inclusion initiatives led by collaborators across the U.S.

“Diversity is core to the competitiveness of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Diverse teams and inclusive approaches to building companies improve outcomes for society, individuals and the future of innovation,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “NVCA and our members are committed to driving meaningful and measurable change to improve diversity and inclusion across the entrepreneurial ecosystem over the long-term. We are focusing on opening pathways for the immense pipeline of diverse talent across the U.S.  Lots of work has taken place over the last 18 months to shine a spotlight on this important issue, and our report showcases the efforts of NVCA members and others who are leading the way to foster greater diversity in venture capital and entrepreneurship.”

NVCA and its Board of Directors launched the NVCA Diversity Task Force in December 2014 to support greater diversity within the venture capital industry and broader entrepreneurial ecosystem over the long-term.  As its first action, former NVCA Board Chair Scott Sandell, Managing General Partner of NEA, and Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs Kate Mitchell, co-founder and Partner of Scale Venture Partners, and Ashton Newhall, Managing General Partner of Greenspring Associates, focused on improving the diversity of the NVCA Board of Directors.  As a result of their leadership, the NVCA Board of Directors is now 38 percent women or underrepresented minority.   In 2015, 45 NVCA member firms representing $112 billion in assets under management and invested in 7,000 companies made public commitments to advance diversity and inclusion in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  The NVCA Diversity Task Force is focused on research, resources, and building networks to connect diverse talent with opportunity.

The Building a More Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem report features actions taken by the NVCA Diversity Task Force.  As one of its key initiatives, NVCA began collaborating in 2016 with The Robert Toigo Foundation to support their 27-year mission to advance the careers of underrepresented talent.  As part of that effort, NVCA members have engaged with current Toigo Fellows and Alumni at events over the course of the past six months, including the NVCA-Toigo Leadership Training Weekend Lunch, the 2016 NVCA Leadership Gala & Summit and the 2016 Toigo Foundation Gala to build bridges between diverse talent and the venture capital industry.  Over the coming years, NVCA will continue to engage with collaborators to build research, resources and build connections to foster greater diversity across the ecosystem.

In addition, the report highlights NVCA members JumpStart, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio and Intel Capital in Santa Clara, California, each of which launched funds dedicated to investing in underrepresented minority entrepreneurs.  The report also showcases commitments made by NVCA member firms to advance diversity; research on diversity, entrepreneurship and venture capital; and actions taken by NVCA’s collaborators to pave the way for greater participation by underrepresented groups across the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Highlights of the report:

  • NVCA Board Members share their personal mission statements.
  • Commitments from NVCA Member Firms to advancing diversity within their firms, portfolio companies and communities, including Greenspring Associates, Scale Venture Partners, .406 Ventures, GE Ventures, Battery Ventures, JumpStart, Inc., True Ventures, Pappas Ventures, Polaris Partners, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, NCT Ventures, and The Springboard Fund.
  • Research from the entrepreneurial ecosystem on diversity, including CrunchBase’s Female Founders Report, “Who Is A VC?” from Richard Kerby of Venrock and the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council, and NCT Ventures study of minority business enterprises from Calvin Cooper of NCT Ventures.
  • Highlights from investors, nonprofits, government entities, and organizations that have collaborated with NVCA and are dedicated to fostering opportunity for underrepresented minorities and women. These organizations include The Robert Toigo Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, The Ohio Third Frontier, Intel Capital Diversity Fund, Glassbreakers, Camelback Ventures, Buildup, Hackbright Academy, StudentDream, UNCF, MergeLane, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Rainbow PUSH Coalition CrunchBase, Venrock and NCT Ventures.

Download the report and learn more about the NVCA Diversity Task Force here.