Women in VC: Rising Stars to Watch

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re recognizing and celebrating 10 rising stars who are making their mark and emerging as industry leaders. We’re excited to highlight some of their early accomplishmentsand cheer their continued success!


VCFamilia’s mission is to create an open and inclusive environment for current and future Latinx investors to thrive. VCFamilia brings Latinx cultures into the venture community and increase representation in investment roles.

VCFamilia was formed to increase awareness of the venture capital ecosystem within the Latinx community; provide current investors with continued education, community, & mentorship to ensure success and growth in the industry; and to embrace Latinx culture, norms, and the intersectionality of our different heritages in the venture community.

Their efforts are for anyone identifying as Latinx as well as supporters of diversity within the industry. They also aim to increase collaboration amongst other affinity groups and organizations to push the industry forward.


Opportunities for Engagement

Current and aspiring investors who identify as Latinx
VCFamilia prioritizes community. If you identify as Latinx and are in the venture community, join VCFamilia at https://www.vcfamilia.com. You can also stay connected to the organization and its members by signing up for the VCFamilia newsletter.

Others in the VC Community
If you do not identify as Latinx, but would like to support the VCFamilia community, you are invited to join the VCFamilia Linkedin group.

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Black VCs Making a Big Difference

Black VCs Making a Big Impact

Black investors remain underrepresented in VC. The latest VC Human Capital Survey tracked little progress in the representation of Black partners between 2018 and 2020, though there is some optimism to be found in the growing representation of Black junior investment professionals. Venture Forward’s mission to diversify and empower the VC industry includes accelerating the representation of Black investors and recognizing changemakers who share our vision for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive venture community. Last year, we highlighted leaders and initiatives driving more Black representation in VC. This year, we’re highlighting the accomplishments of 15 Black VCs – rising stars to watch, community catalyzers, and investors making significant impact.  

While we only featured 15 Black VCs in this post, there are many more whose accomplishments deserve to be recognized and celebrated – please help us do so by tagging them on social!

VC University ONLINE Cohort 9 Scholarship Recipients

Meet VC University ONLINE’s Cohort 9 Scholarship Recipients!

We’re thrilled to introduce Cohort 9 of VC University ONLINE scholarship recipients – 42 talented, aspiring VCs from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

VC University ONLINE is a highly-reviewed certificate course on the fundamentals of venture capital, created by NVCA, Venture Forward, and Startup@BerkeleyLaw. The course democratizes access to quality VC education. Participants learn the nuts and bolts of venture finance through self-paced lectures, interactive assessments, virtual office hours, webinars with faculty and industry experts, and interviews with leading venture capitalists.

To date, the program has:

  • held 9 sold-out cohorts
  • served 1,640+ participants
  • awarded 264 full scholarships

The Cohort 9 scholarship recipients were competitively selected from hundreds of applicants, through an application process that considers career goals, commitment to furthering a healthy, inclusive industry, demographic factors, and more.

How are Black & Latina Women Investors Breaking into VC?

See how 204 Black & Latina women broke barriers entering the industry

Breaking into venture capital is notoriously difficult, a foot in the door requires a precarious combination of experience, connections, and timing. But the odds are especially stacked against diverse women. Despite these odds, they’ve gone on to establish their own funds and create opportunities for others.

The 2021 Black & Latina Women in VC report analyzes the professional & educational backgrounds of 108 Black and 96 Latina women in the U.S. VC ecosystem in investment roles. We identify themes and patterns to learn how they’re breaking into and thriving in venture capital roles.

Shift: Defense Ventures

Shift is an organization that helps members of the military, past and present, discover careers, acquire new skills, and embark upon new job experiences at the best companies in the world.

Defense Ventures

The future of defense tech is public-private partnerships. Immerse and learn from leading venture capital firms and tech startups in programs designed for the DoD’s emerging innovators. Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and DoD Civilians are encouraged to apply.

Opportunities for Engagement

AFWERX Ventures Fellowship
Get your seat at the table in the right room. Shift’s Defense Ventures Program is a partnership with AFWERX to create an industry immersion program that selects innovative officers, enlisted, and civilians in the midst of their careers to join venture capital and technology companies across the US for eight weeks to bring the latest commercial tech trends and innovation back to the Department of Defense.

Trusted Capital Innovation Tours
A 12-month Training With Industry tour built in partnership with the Department of Defense Trusted Capital program and leading venture capital and private equity firms.

Participants will gain first-hand knowledge of emerging technology companies developing critical capabilities for defense applications. Placement within these key financial nodes is intended to provide a bridge between the DoD and the venture capital and private equity industries, fostering greater trust and cooperation during early-stage dual-use technology innovation.

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Examining the Returns of 2021: The Financial Returns of Diverse Private Equity Firms

Diverse-owned private equity firms continue to outperform their benchmarks, according to “Examining the Returns 2021: The Financial Returns of Diverse Private Equity Firms,” a study released by the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC). When combined with findings previously reported in NAIC’s 2019 and 2017 studies, these results confirm a long history of benchmark-beating performance by diverse investment managers.

Authored by Meredith Jones, Partner, Global Head of ESG for Aon, the biennial report is the industry’s only quantitative study measuring the performance of diverse-owned private equity firms against established benchmarks. The report illustrates diverse managers’ acumen in sourcing deals and executing their investment strategies, even during uncertain economic conditions. It is also a critical tool used in NAIC’s ongoing efforts to increase capital allocations to diverse-owned alternative investment firms, who continue to manage just 1.3 percent of the industry’s $69 trillion in assets.  This troubling statistic continues in the face of a growing number of conversations regarding diversity and inclusion within the industry and a history of outperformance by diverse firms. Still, many institutional investors continue to overlook these accomplished investment managers.


Chicago:Blend is a collaborative effort of venture capitalists in Chicago who know that diverse teams and inclusive environments are critical foundations for both the startups we invest in and our own venture firms.

Opportunities for Engagement

For Venture Capitalists
Sign on as a VC Supporter, see how your firm compares to others, submit candidates for The BlendList, and consult it when you’re helping portfolio companies fill independent board seats.

For Startup Employees
Encourage your VCs to sign on as a VC Supporter, see how your company compares to others, access diverse candidates, submit candidates for The BlendList, and consult it when you’re filling independent board seats.

For Everyone Else
Sign up to receive updates, check out our resource database, review our data, and submit candidates for The BlendList.

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VC University ONLINE September 2021 Scholarship Cohort

Welcome to the September 2021 Scholarship Cohort of VC University ONLINE!

We’re thrilled to welcome 45 aspiring and early-career investors to the September 2021 cohort of VC University ONLINE scholarship recipients!

VC University ONLINE, a highly-reviewed certificate program led by Venture Forward, NVCA, and Startup@BerkeleyLaw, democratizes access to quality education on venture capital. Participants learn the nuts and bolts of venture finance through self-paced lectures, interactive assessments, virtual office hours, webinars with faculty and industry experts, and interviews with leading venture capitalists.

The September 2021 cohort will serve 200+ participants. This marks the 8th sold-out program, which has now served more than 1,400+ participants and awarded 222 full scholarships.

The scholarship program supports the professional development of new and aspiring VCs from historically underrepresented backgrounds, through educational opportunity, mentorship, and more.

Introducing the June 2021 Cohort of VC University Scholarship Recipients

The seventh sold-out cohort of VC University ONLINE begins June 1, 2021!

Serving approximately 200 participants per course, VC University is an educational certificate course, jointly operated by NVCAVenture Forward, and Startup@BerkeleyLaw. Participants learn the nuts and bolts of venture finance over the course of several weeks through self-paced lectures, interactive assessments, virtual office hours, monthly webinars with faculty and industry experts, and interviews with leading venture capitalists.

Thanks to the generous financial support of our sponsors, Venture Forward was able to offer 43 full scholarships to attend VC University ONLINE, to underrepresented, aspiring and early career VCs.

In this blog post, Venture Forward provides more details about the program, and highlights the 43 talented scholarship recipients who were competitively selected to participate in the  June 2021 cohort.