2020 VC Human Capital Survey

What does the venture capital (VC) industry workforce look like in terms of demographics? What is the current state of VC diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? The VC Human Capital Survey, powered by Deloitte, National Venture Capital Association, and Venture Forward, answers these and other questions for VC firms seeking to expand the diversity of both their teams and portfolios.

The third edition of our VC Human Capital Survey assesses the state of the US VC industry workforce, with a special focus on DEI. Results from this edition were benchmarked against findings from the first and second editions, which were originally conducted in 2016 and 2018. Conducted in 2020, this third edition requested firm demographic information (e.g., investment stage focus) and demographic information for each employee (e.g., gender and race). Additionally, firms were asked to provide information regarding their talent management practices and DEI programs.

While there have been other industry assessments of VC diversity, this survey provides a more holistic perspective. We gathered data from VC firms of all types and sizes, examined DEI for a variety of groups across all types of positions, and assessed firm talent management strategies. (Learn more.)

Report: Guidance and Best Practices for Investors on Diversity & Female Entrepreneurship

Guidance and Best Practices for Investors on Diversity & Female Entrepreneurship is a report published by the British Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

The report was commissioned by the Alison Rose Review and HM Treasury, and includes tactical guidance for investors to create an inclusive pipeline and portfolio. It was inspired by broad recognition in the investment community that diverse and inclusive portfolios have substantially lower risk and better performance.

 

High-level, the report recommends:

  • Implementing specific tactics to recruit diverse talent to your investment firm
  • Adopting specific practices to create an inclusive culture at your investment firm
  • Using tried-and-tested strategies to remove bias from the investment process
  • Engaging with portfolio companies using validated tools and tactics
  • Signing up to the Diversity VC standard

Institutional Investors Must Help Close the Race and Gender Gaps in Venture Capital

In this Harvard Business Review article by Ilene H. Lang and Reggie Van Lee, the authors discuss the role of institutional investors in addressing the race and gender gaps in their investment portfolios.

Recruiting for diversity in VC (TechCrunch)

Like many industries with a high concentration of wealth — and the careers that help professionals accumulate it — investment firms have a severe dearth of diversity in their ranks.

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

In their new book The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,  Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway explore what makes startup communities thrive and how to improve collaboration in these rapidly evolving, complex environments.

We are in the midst of a startup revolution. The growth and proliferation of innovation-driven startup activity is profound, unprecedented, and global in scope. Today, it is understood that communities of support and knowledge-sharing go along with other resources. The importance of collaboration and a long-term commitment has gained wider acceptance. These principles are adopted in many startup communities throughout the world.

And yet, much more work is needed. Startup activity is highly concentrated in large cities. Governments and other actors such as large corporations and universities are not collaborating with each other nor with entrepreneurs as well as they could. Too often, these actors try to control activity or impose their view from the top-down, rather than supporting an environment that is led from the bottom-up. We continue to see a disconnect between an entrepreneurial mindset and that of many actors who wish to engage with and support entrepreneurship. There are structural reasons for this, but we can overcome many of these obstacles with appropriate focus and sustained practice.

The Startup Community Way is an explanatory guide for startup communities. Rooted in the theory of complex systems, this book establishes the systemic properties of entrepreneurial ecosystems and explains why their complex nature leads people to make predictable mistakes. As complex systems, value creation occurs in startup communities primarily through the interaction of the “parts” – the people, organizations, resources, and conditions involved – not the parts themselves. This continual process of bottom-up interactions unfolds naturally, producing value in novel and unexpected ways. Through these complex, emergent processes, the whole becomes greater and substantially different than what the parts alone could produce.

SVB Report: Healthcare Investments & Exits Mid Year 2020

In this report, Silicon Valley Bank explores the mid-year state of healthcare investments and exits around the world.

The questions LPs can ask for due diligence on diversity and inclusion in VC

It is widely recognized that improving diversity and inclusion in the venture capital and private equity industries is the right thing to do. Not only that, but there is strong evidence that increasing diversity will lead to better returns, increased talent retention and more creativity.

Diversity VC has put together a list of questions which Limited Partners can use to ask GPs at venture funds questions during the due diligence process to better understand their approach to diversity and inclusion. The first set of questions is taken from the ILPA guidance, the second has been compiled by Diversity VC in discussions with GPs and LPs in Europe and the US.

If you would like to add any questions, or if you have any comments, please email check@diversity.vc.

Startups and Small Businesses Generated $1.3B in Economic Impact and 11,564 Jobs in 2019 – JumpStart

Startups and small businesses throughout Ohio and New York were thriving in 2019, generating at least $1.3 billion in economic impact on regional economies, according to a recent study published by Silverload Consulting based on data collected by JumpStart.

This study is a snapshot of startups and small business activity in Ohio and parts of New York, but the total impact of entrepreneurial startups and small businesses is even greater. The 2019 economic impact report includes data from 701 companies who responded to the survey and met qualifying requirements (at least one employee plus revenue or payroll.) 242 (34%) of companies led by people of color and 346 (50%) led by women responded.

The Manager’s Guide to Inclusive Leadership — Small Habits That Make a Big Impact

From the immediate need to hold space for Black employees right now and lead vulnerable discussions with your team, to the long-term behaviors that build a welcoming culture, in this post from the First Round Review, the team at LifeLabs helpfully distills inclusive leadership into its four most essential habits:

  • Inviting and displaying authenticity
  • Cultivating self-awareness and curiosity
  • Seeking out and responding well to feedback
  • Lifting up other perspectives consistently.

Allyship In Action: How to Support Black Colleagues Right Now

One of the most powerful ways we can work to end racial injustice and support Black people without putting the burden on Black people is through educating ourselves.

Paradigm has put together this excellent list of resources to support anyone seeking to educate themselves about racial injustice.