As more black women become invested in entrepreneurship and generational wealth—representation in spaces that were built on the intention of boxing us out has grown immensely. As we witness women that look like ourselves breaking the many ceilings, we can do nothing but hope to do the same. Yet, it can be challenging to invest your heart and soul into your business when it is nearly impossible to find someone who genuinely wants to invest without feeling like their space is being threatened.
That’s where creating even more spaces for ourselves comes in. In a world where the odds seem to be rallied against us, we must be our biggest advocate. It is imperative that if we are in the position to lend the ladder down to someone, we take the first chance we can get. Black investors do exist, contrary to what you may or may not see. Don’t give up on your million-dollar-idea just yet, BAUCE has compiled a list of VCs and investors that can help lift you over the hurdles that are keeping you from the finish line.
The Black Angel Tech Fund was founded by a group of Black entrepreneurs and angel investors. They have invested in black-owned startups such as OmniSpeech, a company that has founded a software program that enhances the sound quality of different communication platforms.
EchoVC Partners is a venture capital firm founded by Eghosa Omoigui. Its purpose is to invest in early-stage startups based in North America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Omoigui has successfully invested in startups such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
With a history deeply embedded in its name, the New York-based venture capital firm interests itself in early-stage minority startups. Something the firm’s investments have in common is that they aim to enhance financial, marketing, and operational experiences.
Starting with the basics components of a dream, Base ventures believes in the powerful magic of human potential. They encourage the idea of individuality by voicing that there is worse than being ordinary. It is currently a seed-stage fund that invests in technology companies.
After selling Shea Moisture and buying Essence Magazine from Time Inc, Richelieu Dennis vowed to pay his success forward by investing in more African American entrepreneurs, specifically women. The $100 million Voices Fund was created “to empower women of color entrepreneurs to reach their full potential”. The fund invests in women of color who are launching startups, small business and community-focused enterprises who are need of capital to launch or scale.
A league of black women in Atlanta is working to make more business opportunities possible for women of color. Launched by Keisha Knight Pulliam and Ariane Simone, the Fearless Fund “invests in women of color led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level or series A financing”. Built by women of color for women of color, the
Founded by Arlan Hamilton, a black woman– Backstage Capital is a VC fund that invests in fresh, new companies. One of its main components is highlighting the voices of founders that aren’t heard every-day.
Founded by another black woman, Mariah Lichtenstern, DiverseCity is clever in more ways than its name. The VC invests in technology-abled companies that have great potential for outsized returns.
Precursor is an early-stage venture capital firm that values itself in investing in people over product at the earliest stage of their entrepreneurial journeys. It invests in seed and early-stage consumer digital health, education, fintech, hardware, and SaaS companies.
A former advisor to the creators behind the Bumble App, Sarah Kunst is an entrepreneur and the managing director of Cleo Capital, a female-focused investment fund that has raised millions of dollars to diversify the VC world. Kunst’s firm focuses on investing in female scouts who then use the funds to invest in promising companies.
Project Include is a non-profit that focuses on CEOs and management of early to mid-stage tech startups. They prefer to start where change is possible and broad impact can happen beyond the industry.
One of the key statements of this venture capital firm is that “nothing is stronger than a community that invests in its people.” HBCUvc is a nonprofit organization that trains students attending HBCU’s and HIS’s in venture capital and technology entrepreneurship. It’s co-founder, Hadiyah Mujhid, is someone who can catch the pitches you throw her way.
“digitalundivided” has a mantra that every BAUCE should follow. It states, “Go Big, or Go Home.” With over 52 companies built, $25 million in investments distributed, and 2000 Founders—it’s safe to say they practice what they preach. Their main focus is “investing where others won’t and championing what others don’t.” They are a VC interested in funding tech companies founded by Black and Latinx women.
The Impact America Fund, founded by Kesha Cash, is a leading source of venture capital for entrepreneurs who are building tech-enabled businesses. Preferably, they’re interested in companies that create a “more just and equitable future for low and moderate-income people in America.”
Global tennis champion Serena Williams started her investment fund in 2014 to increase opportunities for founders in different industries. Serena Ventures “invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity, and opportunity.” She also worked with the Bumble Fund to show her support for investing in women of color.
Co-Founder and CEO of Code2040, Laura Weidman Powers is another great woman to pitch those BAUCE ideas to. She co-created Code2040 with the intent of helping underrepresented minorities achieve educational and entrepreneurial success. She currently works as the Head of Impact for Echoing Green, another great investment fellowship and fund for social entrepreneurs.
DevColor is a company that provides career advice and mentoring services. They specialize in providing interview preparation and career strategy advisory services to dark-skinned software engineers. So, not only will the company prepare you for the entrepreneurial world—the founder is an up and coming VC to think about when wanting to present your pitch.
Don’t worry, the only running you’re going to be doing at this gym—is running your own company. So, don’t say bye to your personal trainer just yet. When Mandela Schumacher—Hodge Dixon founded it, her vision was to establish an online training center that helps founders build successful startups. So, the activity may be different, but the principle is all the same.
Cross Culture Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology and consumer products. It definitely a company that puts on for the culture and the community.
This company believes in “great founders,” as well as helping them thrive. The name is kind of straight forward if you think about it, the venture capital has already invested in over 500 companies in over 74 countries. Diversity isn’t some quota to them, along with investing in different founders form all backgrounds—they invest in all kinds of companies and themes.
Nothing we create is perfect, but we must always run that first “rough draft” by someone to get us on the path to creating the final. This venture capital is focused on cultivating the next generation of founders. It is a student team that backs student-led startups with up to $25,000 in funding. Who says you’re too young to follow your dreams?
Sahuntel Poulson Garvey co-founded Reach Capital with the intention of sustaining a VC firm that backs ed-tech startups focused on issues of access and opportunity in education. It is always essential to pour into the future to create brighter days for our children.
GenNX360 is a private equity firm that interests itself in companies that surround their purpose around industrial and business services in the U.S. middle market.
Authentic Ventures screams its purpose with its name. The Oakland, California based venture capital firm is both seed and early-stage. One of their key phrases is to “look beyond the visible,” stating to believe in the things that you cannot quite see yet. They invest in seed or seed extension rounds, as well as Series A companies. They are especially fond of AI/ Machine Learning, Mobile Could, Healthcare, and Education.
The Bronze Venture Fund is a venture capital that makes innovative investments into companies with strong financial returns and positive social impact. It exists to bring new technology, capital, imagination, and “love” to society.
Collab Capital is an investment fund leveraging financial, human, and social capital to help founders build sustainable, technology-enabled businesses. Led by black entrepreneurs Jewel Burks (former co-founder of PartPic), Barry Givens, and Justin Dawkins, Collab Capital creates growth opportunities for Black founders with early-stage startups by providing investment capital and connecting them to corporate and/or social influencers.
Lightship Capital, led by husband and wife duo Brian Brackeen and Candice Matthews Brackeen, believe that the next wave of innovation will come from entrepreneurs that other investors have overlooked or excluded — people of color, women, members of the LGBTQIAP community, and people with disabilities. Their investment firm primarily focuses on entrepreneurs based in midwest America, a region that is often overlooked for innovative talent.
PS27 Ventures is a black-owned venture capital form based in Jacksonville, Florida. Their goal is to provide our founders with the connections and resources to help them grow their companies and become successful leaders. They specifically focus on investing in health tech, e-commerce, fintech, SaaS, and sustainability startups.