They say it could take 10 – 12 years to see significant returns in venture capital. I use this analogy often when talking about our work and approach to changing venture capital to fund more Black and Brown founders.
I think visually and can see venture capital as a graphic system. When drawing out the networks, relationships, and connections in VC, it is visually similar to drawing the flow of capital. If I wanted to change the flow of capital to fund Black and Brown founders, I had to re-draw the networks, relationships, and connections. So, three years ago, I created HBCUvc to do this. We are building a new pipeline of investors from communities where entrepreneurs face barriers in accessing capital.
Today, De’Havia Stewart, an HBCUvc Class 1 Fellow, announced her newest role in joining the SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund. The Opportunity Fund is a new $100M fund by SoftBank that will allocated all of its funding to underrepresented founders. De’Havia completed the HBCUvc training program in 2018 and has remained an active and engaged Fellow. She created and launched the HBCUvc podcast, Divergent Unicorns. She has served as a speaker and supported events such as Startup Weekend, that were organized by later-year Fellows. After getting to know De’Havia over the past 3 years, her new role with SoftBank is a well-earned accomplishment.
De’Havia joins other Fellows such as Khrys Hatch (LaunchTN), Carlos Murguia (Arrowhead Innovation Fund), and Malcolm Beason (Precursor Ventures) in landing full-time investment roles after HBCUvc. Collectively, these four Fellows work at funds that are deploying an estimated total of $200M in capital to founders. It’s also significant to me that these four Fellows live and work outside of Silicon Valley. De’Havia in Atlanta, Khrys in Nashville, Carlos in Las Cruces Mexico, and Malcolm in Chicago.
They say it takes 10 – 12 years before you can see significant returns in venture capital. Three years in and HBCUvc is showing significant promise.