VentureNext

VentureNext is a professional peer group of rising venture capital investors who work with, manage, and run venture capital investment funds. Our members are based across the country and united by an interest in investing in Midwestern companies.

VentureNext members get access to monthly deal-flow calls, exclusive networking events, educational resources, and mentorship. Learn more at https://www.venturenext.vc/

Opportunities for Engagement

 

Experienced VCs
Experienced VCs are invited to volunteer as mentors to support the rising venture talent of the Midwest. (We welcome mentors from anywhere in the US!)

 

Early-Career VCs who are interested in investing in the Midwest
VentureNext’s core focus is to connect and elevate the next generation of VC investors with an interest in investing in Midwest deal flow. Early-career investors are invited to become members of VentureNext, in order to:

  1. Establish a knowledge network through various programming events and networking opportunities.
  2. Provide mentorship and mentoring opportunities, and
  3. Participate in monthly deal flow sharing calls.

Start the process of becoming a member by submitting your information at the bottom of this page.

 

 

Contact Information

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.

VC OpenDoor

Though VC OpenDoor, investors are working to make the technology industry more inclusive and to help underrepresented groups gain access to venture capital and experienced tech mentors. VC OpenDoor volunteers commit to making 1 to 4 hours per week open for office hours to talk to anyone about technology, whether they’re an African American college student in Virginia or a person of color interested in IT. This group of investors has committed over $2.1m, and more than 170 hours per week for open office hours to date.

Opportunities for Engagement

Investors
Investors willing to volunteer their time are asked to commit 1 to 4 hours per week for office hours to talk to anyone about technology, whether they’re an African American college student in Virginia or a person of color interested in IT.  Interested investors can sign up to volunteer, here.

Underrepresented Founders and Entrepreneurs
Founders and Entrepreneurs of color who are interested in speaking with one of VC OpenDoor’s volunteer investors may request a meeting by filling out this form. VC OpenDoor will then work to match entrepreneurs with an investor based on the details of the request. (However, a match is not always guaranteed.)

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.

NextGen Partners

NextGen Partners’ mission is to facilitate professional development, knowledge sharing and network strengthening of emerging Venture Capital investors as they build their careers.

Founded in 2001 as a group of 5 VC associates, NextGen Partners has a membership base of over 500 pre-partner professionals representing over 200 firms in California. With the help of our sponsors, NextGen members are able to create relationships with tomorrow’s leading venture and private equity professionals. By investing time today, members are able to forge the relationships and syndicates of tomorrow.

Opportunities for Engagement

Pre-Partner VCs
NextGen Partners run a newsletter and jobs list, bi-monthly happy hours and more. Along with their sponsors, NextGen Partners organize bi-monthly professional development and social events that are typically located in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. They also hold larger quarterly events and educational breakfasts that center around topics that are of interest to our members. Any individual who works at a Venture Capital or Private Equity fund at the pre-Partner level may join NextGen Partners, and membership is free.

 

Contact Information

Paradigm

Paradigm is a consulting firm that designs data-driven strategies, implements programs with impact, and trains employees and leaders for success.

While Venture Forward does not endorse commercial products, Paradigm produces a great deal of research, resources and events that they make available to the public for free.

 

Paradigm Events: Learn about the latest diversity, equity, and inclusion research, trends, and tactics used by best-in-class companies at one of Paradigm’s events. From full-day, interactive Paradigm DEI Labs to timely webinars, Paradigm’s events are designed to help drive impact.

Inclusion Insights: Paradigm’s magazine contains recent news, articles, press releases, information on upcoming events, and white papers, showcasing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Contact Information

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.

Allyship In Action: How Managers Can Support Black Employees Right Now

In this resource by Paradigm, they’ve outlined specific recommendations for managers seeking to support Black employees.

As a manager, you play a pivotal role in how your team navigates this incredibly challenging time. While it’s helpful for employees to hear from company leaders, it is equally critical that they feel directly supported by you as their manager. If you proceed with “business as usual,” it sends a message to people that you don’t believe this is an important topic worthy of time and conversation. To Black employees in particular, it can send a message that you don’t value them.

So, how do you lead your team through this difficult time, particularly when it can be hard to find the words to say, and when different team members may need different things?

BLCK VC

Only 3% of venture capitalists are Black, with even fewer controlling the $80B+ invested annually in the US. In the past few years VC has become more diverse, but slowly and minimally.

BLCK VC was formed early in 2018 to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by Black venture investors. Since itsinception, we’ve worked to develop the community through social and educational events focused on advancing Black investors. The goal of this group is to increase the number of Black investment professionals in venture capital and build a community so that Black investors can help each other succeed. What is our goal? To turn 200 Black investors into 400 Black investors
by 2024.

Opportunities for Engagement

Black VCs
Join our community: In order to better serve the black VC community, we are developing a list of all active black venture capitalists. This information will not only help us keep members of the community informed about events and resources, but also collect accurate statistics on the population of black VCs. By joining our community, you’ll receive access to monthly newsletters, partnerships with other nonprofits, and frequent events on various topics, including: investment + sports, media, consumer, and enterprise. You can also join our Slack Community here for events, community updates, and jobs! Most importantly, our mailing list can be found, here.

VC Firms Seeking Talent
If your firm is currently looking to hire investors, BLCK VC is happy to serve as a resource to help you find and retain top Black investment talent. Please email us at general@blckvc.com.

Firms and Organizations
If your firm or organization would like to partner with BLCK VC or learn more about how to support our community, please email us at general@blckvc.com.

Contact Information

10,000+

high-growth startups—across all 50 states and DC—raised venture funding in 2019 to build and grow their businesses.

42%

of all U.S. IPOs from 1974 to 2015 were venture-backed companies, representing 63% of the market capitalization and 85% of R&D.

2.9 million

is the average net jobs created annually between 1980 and 2010 by high-growth startups, which account for ~50% of gross jobs created in the U.S.

1,300+

U.S. venture firms are active today, managing an aggregate of $444 billion in assets.