Impact & Testimonials
We’re asking the VC community to invest in the industry’s future by supporting Venture Forward’s work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and expand educational opportunities for industry newcomers. How can you help? Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Who We Are
Venture Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit launched in June 2020 by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) to drive the human capital, culture, values, and narrative of venture capital to promote a strong and inclusive community that will fuel the economy of tomorrow.
What We Do
Our work is focused on shaping the future of venture capital by providing programming, education, data and research, and resources that are empowering the ecosystem’s ability to thrive. These four key areas of focus are core to our programs and initiatives:
- DE&I: Advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive ecosystem
- Education: Educating a new generation of VC investors to equip them with the tools to succeed, and informing the general public about the role of VC on the US economy
- Research & Data: Conducting and sharing meaningful research on VC trends and impact
- History: Capturing the rich history of VC and distilling insights to shape the future
How You Can Help
Venture capital continues to play a pivotal role in the U.S. economy. Can you imagine the even bigger impact on innovation and returns a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive venture ecosystem could have? We can. But there’s a long way to go until our industry reaches its full potential – and we need everyone’s help to make it happen. Join us in shaping the future of venture capital by making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts.
Read more in our July 2021 Impact Report
|Collected diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) data from 375+ VC firms through the VC Human Capital Survey as we continue to measure the industry’s DEI progress.|
|Educated 1,533 aspiring and early-career VCs (including many from historically underrepresented communities) through VC University ONLINE and VC University LIVE.|
|Facilitated approximately 200 1:1 and roundtable meetings for 50 emerging and underrepresented VC fund managers to meet with LPs (funds of funds, foundations, and endowments) and experienced GPs to learn about fundraising best practices via LP Office Hours.|
|Matched 154 VC University scholarship recipients (i.e., new and emerging VCs from underrepresented backgrounds) with 2 mentors each – an Experienced VC mentor, and a Peer Mentor in a highly-rated Mentorship Program.|
|Provided brand building and media training workshops to 30 early and mid-career VC investors from underrepresented backgrounds via the Comms 101 and Comms 201 programs.|
Program Participant Testimonials
I earned a scholarship to attend (VC University LIVE), because of the opportunity granted by Venture Forward, and I was able to meet lifelong peers, connect with the speakers, make my voice heard in discussion rooms, and learn from industry leaders.
Venture Forward’s Comms 201 program taught me so many things I didn’t know I needed to learn on how to best work with the media.
As an emerging fund manager with limited social capital, events like at Venture Forward’s LP Office Hours really make the difference. I appreciate being able to connect with top-tier GPs & LPs, start relationships with them & get insights to help me on my journey to become a successful fund manager.
VC University gave me the tools to understand venture and startup financing in a relatable way. As former Director of LatinSF, I worked with 100+ Latin American startups raising funds in the Bay Area. I had empirical knowledge of the process, but zero academic understanding. The legal, technical, and fund nuance info I needed we covered through the course curriculum plus the invaluable office hours and lunch sessions held by top-notch VC’s. They address my real industry questions I couldn’t find in podcasts or books.
Hear from Our Board & Donors
Sofinnova’s work with Venture Forward to elevate conversations about DEI in the investor community and help establish meaningful mentorship relationships are important and necessary efforts to increase diversity in our community. We’re proud to support Venture Forward as they work to advance an industry culture rooted in DEI principles.
It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Maryam and the team at Venture Forward. They have drawn awareness to the lack of representation in our industry, created programs to advance DEI in VC, democratized access to VC education through VC University, and provided a feedback loop on how we are doing through the VC Human Capital Survey. I’m excited to support their ongoing efforts.
Over the years we have closely collaborated with NVCA on numerous significant legislative and regulatory initiatives. When we learned that NVCA had plans to expand its impact among the next generation of our industry and to advance a more inclusive ecosystem, we were excited to provide cornerstone funding to support these “next-gen” efforts. We are impressed with Venture Forward’s progress during its inaugural year, and look forward to continuing to partner with both Venture Forward and NVCA as they influence the future of our industry.
Venture Forward and Deloitte are doing incredible work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion by illuminating the challenges the VC industry faces and creating recommendations to assist in addressing them. I am proud to work alongside this impactful organization and use our research from the VC Human Capital Survey to help drive meaningful change.
The startup ecosystem is the engine of our economy, and SVB is proud to support Venture Forward in its mission to improve diversity in the venture community while paving the way for the next generation of industry leaders.
Venture Forward’s goal of growing and supporting a new generation of GPs is essential to the evolution of venture investing: who funds and who is funded. Venture Forward—with the support of NVCA—is a platform with broad reach and a mandate to drive change.
The opportunity to raise a VC fund or become a VC investor has largely not been accessible to women, people of color, and other minorities. Venture Forward’s programs like VC University and LP Office Hours are transforming the future of the industry and how more newcomers from diverse backgrounds can learn and network to build a career in funding innovation.
The venture capital industry is ripe with stories. Whether it’s being able to articulate investment trends or helping portfolio companies nail a narrative, storytelling is a critical skill for venture capital newcomers. Knowing how to share these stories through press, podcasts, panels, blogs, videos, and presentations is important for building networks, for deal flow, and for helping founders. It’s great to see Venture Forward prioritizing communications skills and providing hands-on lessons and support.
Today’s leaders want VC to continue its positive impact on society, innovation, and our economy. The next generation of leadership is our future. Venture Forward is investing in the human capital of VC by making educational opportunities accessible to new entrants while helping firms with best practices from talent management to inclusivity.
Venture Forward’s mission to bring diversity, equity and inclusion to our industry is not only long overdue but essential if we are to keep up with global innovation in technology. True innovation might begin with a single idea, but that idea will only reach its fullest potential when the convergence of diverse perspectives occurs to fully develop and execute it. Venture Forward is providing the foundation for that all-inclusive collaboration through exceptional educational offerings and mentorship programs that will ensure we bring the best possible next generation to the investment table. I am thrilled to be able to contribute and share my experiences as part of this important and essential initiative.