PledgeLA

Convened by an alliance between LA’s venture capital community, Annenberg Foundation, and the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, PledgeLA is a collective call for change in the tech industry and a commitment to better reflect, support, and leverage the creativity and diversity that is Los Angeles.

This coalition of more than 200 tech & VC industry leaders seeks to positively contribute to the prosperity of all Angelenos and lead the industry into a new dawn of equity and inclusion.

Opportunities for Engagement

Los Angeles-Based Venture Capital and Technology Companies
Join PledgeLA as a member! PledgeLA members commit to transforming Los Angeles into the most civically engaged and diverse tech hub in the nation. Member companies receive support in deepening their social impact, finding diverse talent and creative inclusive workplaces where everyone can thrive. Membership also secures access to a top-notch survey providing your company with clear metrics around community engagement and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Nonprofits
We are always looking for partners who can help us advance the mission of PledgeLA. We are most interested in volunteer opportunities for our members and resources to educate our base about issues facing Angelenos. If you’re a non-profit organization interested in partnering with PledgeLA, please reach out to info@pledgela.org.

Underrepresented VCs, Founders, and Entrepreneurs
PledgeLA hosts impact-aligned events which support access to increasing diversity across VC and the tech industry, facilitates connections to nonprofits, shares internship & mentorship opportunities supporting underrepresented groups, and more. Sign up to receive email updates with all the latest PledgeLA news, program updates, and opportunities to get involved.

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Project Include

Project Include’s mission is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in tech. They use data and advocacy to accelerate meaningful diversity and inclusion solutions for tech CEO’s and startups. They provide specific, actionable recommendations through their website and industry diversity benchmarks through their blog. Through case studies, research, and networking opportunities, the nonprofit has built a thriving community of grassroots advocates, experts, and practitioners working together to evolve these solutions. They encourage the values of inclusion, comprehensiveness, and accountability.

Opportunities for Engagement

VC Firms
Project Include provides resources and guidelines to help VC firms monitor and measure their own behavior and results. VCs and VC firms can take advantage of Project Include’s concrete recommendations and actionable strategies on D&I work, concrete VC investing metrics, and benchmarks for startup demographics. With #MovingForward, they also have useful guidelines for VC codes of conduct.

Founders & CEOs
Project Include brings together CEOs and leaders who can join a cohort of their peers to gather data on your teams and contribute to aggregated results to set industry standards. Read the Project Include recommendations on topics including: defining and implementing culture, writing a code of conduct, employee lifecycle, providing feedback, training, investing in sponsorships, and resolving conflicts.  And read why startups should set diversity targets for an employee base that is 10% Black, 10% Latinx, and 5% non-binary in addition to 45% female.

Employees & Job-Seekers
Explore various case studies that identify different kinds of workplace discrimination and learn what steps to take to encourage a more inclusive work environment.

Contact Information

Startout

Founded in 2009, StartOut, a national non-profit organization, is the largest national organization to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with 17,000 members. Its mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and amplify their stories to drive the economic empowerment of the community. StartOut helps aspiring LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs start new companies; supports current entrepreneurs as they grow and expand their existing businesses; and engages successful entrepreneurs as role models and mentors.

Opportunities for Engagement

VCs
StartOut teams up with VCs who want access to a diverse deal flow and are interested in working with LGBTQ founders (pre-seed to Series B). StartOut also works with associates, principals and partners who are interested in mentoring high-potential entrepreneurs on an individual basis.

LGBTQ Entrepreneurs
StartOut provides access to expertise (mentorship and office hours), networking opportunities (events, online directory and online forum), and connections to accredited investors to LGBTQ growth entrepreneurs.

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#MovingForward

#MovingForward is a global social movement using policy to create a more diverse, inclusive, and harassment-free venture capital industry.

Opportunities for Engagement

VC Firms
#MovingForward helps VC firms shape and publish policies related to harassment and discrimination that apply to third-parties like entrepreneurs. We currently partner with 150 venture capital firms in 23 countries. Joining is easy: we help you create the required materials for free. Visit venturemovingforward.org or email us via hello@venturemovingforward.org to learn more.

VC Professionals, Tech Professionals, and MBAs
Project #MovingForward is a social movement working to make policies in venture capital more inclusive and available. We’re run by an all-volunteer team of entrepreneurs, investors, and technologists, and we’re always recruiting new volunteers to join the movement. If you care about taking action on diversity & inclusion and connecting with VCs and entrepreneurs who share these values, you’d be a great fit. Email us via hello@venturemovingforward.org to learn more.

Entrepreneurs
Project #MovingForward is a social movement working to make policies in venture capital more inclusive and available. We built the first open source policy archive in VC, and we want to continue building tools that will be of use to entrepreneurs in their interactions with investors. If you have ideas of tools that would be helpful or want to join our mailing list to receive our updates, email us via hello@venturemovingforward.org.

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The Vinetta Project

The Vinetta Project, is a leading entrepreneurial ecosystem and deal flow pipeline that works with early stage female tech founders helping them access growth resources and capital. Vinetta operates Chapters and programming across North America and has one of the largest databases of Seed to Series A female founders. Through strategic event programming Vinetta sees and supports over 1000 companies per year and engages with hundreds of investors, corporate partners and acquirers. They have facilitated the flow of over $225M in early stage venture funding to seed stage technology startups who have participated in Vinetta Programming.

Opportunities for Engagement

Female Entrepreneurs
We host local programming in 7 Chapters across North America to educate, elevate and connect top founders in our network with the resources they need to scale. Vinetta works with a number of leading Venture Firms, Investors, Accelerators and Corporate Innovation arms to source, support and fund tech startups.

In order to be eligible for programming you need to have a Profile on our Community Platform. You can learn more about various programs, partnerships and our investor database HERE and create your Founder Profile HERE.

Investors
Vinetta is compiling one of the largest deal flow pipelines of female founders in North America. If you are interested in accessing vetted, diverse deal flow, we want to be a reliable source to turn to. Please join our database today by signing up here.

We create tailored engagement opportunities to maximize your firm’s exposure to the top deals that align with your thesis. We are looking for investors to attend events, mentor, and invest in our selected female entrepreneurs.

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theBoardlist

theBoardlist is a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to improving corporate governance by increasing gender diversity on boards. To achieve our mission, we have developed a SaaS platform and educational programming that empowers our growing community of over 4,800 CEO, C-level executives and VC’s to recommend and discover outstanding board-ready talent for private and public boards.

Since our public launch in 2016, over 550 companies have used theBoardlist as a resource in their board searches, and over 135 board seats have been filled with theBoardlist’s influence. Our vision is for 100% of companies to view and, most importantly, act on increasing gender diversity on their boards as an opportunity to realize greater performance.

Opportunities for Engagement

CEO’s, Executives, Firms and Investors
theBoardlist operates on a recommendation-based model, wherein board-ready women are identified and vetted. We invite CEOs, leading executives and investors to help identify and recommend female board candidates, to be featured on our platform. Groups interested in financially supporting theBoardlist’s mission are also welcome to join as sponsors and members, by emailing us at Contact@theboardlist.com.

Aspiring Female Board Candidates
Women who are seeking to serve in a board position should apply for membership as a ‘Candidate.’

Firms and Founders Seeking Diverse Board Candidates
Firms, investors, and founders are invited to use our platform to search for female board candidates and advisors, using our private, peer-to-peer platform.

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Women Who Launch (WWL)

Women Who Launch (“WWL”) was founded at the University of Michigan with a mission to foster gender balance in entrepreneurship and investing. WWL addresses the gender gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem by strengthening the pipeline of women entering the industry as founders, investors, or start-up team members.

Women Who Launch empowers female students to follow their passions in investing and entrepreneurship through its supportive community, relevant educational programs, and professional development opportunities, including conferences, bootcamps, and career treks. 

Opportunities for Engagement

Venture Capital Firms

We are seeking strategic partners to support our efforts to provide educational and professional development opportunities to MBA women interested in venture capital and investing. Through WWL’s community and programs we are cultivating a talent pool of women interested in working in this industry.

As we expand nationally, we are looking to connect students with action-based learning opportunities in venture capital, whether as scouts, interns, or full time employees, and need to connect with those in the industry in order to do so. We additionally are always looking for speakers for our webinars, conferences, and events to share their industry knowledge and personal stories. If you are interested in being involved and helping to cultivate the next generation of female leaders in investing and entrepreneurship please reach out!

Female MBA Students

Women Who Launch empowers women to follow their passions in investing and entrepreneurship through a supportive community, relevant educational programs, and professional opportunities. Through our online platform and in person events you will be able to connect with like-minded students who are in the same position in their career journey as you, whether it be looking to start their own business or pivot into a career in venture capital.

We are developing opportunities for MBA women interested in VC to gain hands on experience. These initiatives will prepare female students for a career in investing and provide VC firms with improved access to qualified female talent. To learn more about our initiatives, visit www.womenwholaunch.org.

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Managing Unconcious Bias

Companies and firms that want to establish themselves as diverse, inclusive organizations must consider opportunities to minimize bias both at the structural level in company processes and policies, and at the individual level in employee attitudes and behaviors.

In this white paper, Paradigm introduces actionable recommendations to address bias at both the structural and individual levels, across the process of attracting, hiring, developing, and retaining employees.

See Bias | Block Bias

Research shows that stereotypes can introduce errors in managers’ decision making about talent throughout the employee life cycle. While most people agree that bias exists in the abstract, many cannot see their own role in enacting bias or how it functions in their organization. Further, resistance to the idea that bias exists at all is what we call “bias backlash.”

To address these issues, the Stanford University VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab has produced this methodological framework to diagnose, address, and overcome bias in the workplace.

ILPA – Diversity & Inclusion Roadmap

The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) produced an open-source Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Roadmap for the private equity and venture capital industry.

The Roadmap is comprised of best practices that both general and limited partners can consider implementing to advance D&I efforts on behalf of their organizations and the PE industry at large. ILPA encourages all stakeholders in the private equity industry — and those operating in other private markets — to explore the opportunities presented in its Roadmap, and contribute to the effort by sharing their own initiatives and resources so that we all can learn from one another’s experiences.

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.