15 Top VC Funds for LGBTQ and People of Color

Yes, as you probably know, it’s true: statistics show that venture capitalists are more likely to fund white males over women, people of color and LGBTQ.  Despite pleas for diversity across many industries, progress towards greater equality has been slow.

But that doesn’t mean that growing your business, getting funded and reaching your dreams is impossible.  In fact, there are examples here and here of people of color who are doing their thing, winning in venture capital and making a mark.  Also, here is an example of an LGBT woman doing the same.

In a recent post, I talked about angel groups and venture capital funds that help women entrepreneurs.  But what about groups that focus on people of color?  Or those in the LGBTQ community? 

Here is a list of top VC funds that help people of color and those in the LGBTQ community.  Check it out!  I’ve also highlighted and added links to interesting news, people and other content.  Click on the logos to go directly to the fund’s website!

1. VentureOut Fund

Set up by Launch Angels, a Boston-area venture capital firm, VentureOut Fund is looking to breathe life into startups led by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender founders.

They are currently in the process of raising $2 Million and hope to connect with 15-20 startups currently in their seed stage.

Highlighted content you should check out:  Launch Angels Seeks $2M for Fund to Back Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Founders

2. 500 LGBTQ Syndicate

Announcing proudly: “We <3 Fabulous Founders”, 500 Startups encourages people in the LGBT community to participate as founders andangel syndicate backers.  They have some great LGBT-run companies in their portfolio, like Dattch, Hornet, and Whim.  Also, this past year they launched the Rainbow Round to highlight and provide community for LGBT entrepreneurs.

Highlighted content you should check out: We <3 Fabulous Founders: Announcing the 500 LGBT Syndicate

3. LGBT Capital

LGBT Capital has launched an impact investment fund to support inclusion and diversity.  They also provide access to capital and mentorship.  The are pushing for growth, greater rights and acceptance of LGBT business around the world.Highlighted content you should check out: Galileo Sets Up LGBT Capital for Gay Market

4. DigitalUndivided

DigitalUndivided knows that structural, cultural, and financial barriers have worked to limit the participation of people of color in economic opportunities.  However, Black and Latina women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States.  Focusing on this demographic, DID’s programs provide empowerment tools, including mentorship and seed funding.

Highlighted content you should check out: A New Way for Women of Color to Get Funding

5.  Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

This is a portfolio company of the Gaingels Syndicate and is managed by Charlie O'Donnell. Brooklyn Bridge Ventures manages $23 million across two funds, leading or co-leading investments of around $350,000 in New York City companies that have yet to raise $750,000 in prior rounds.

Highlighted content you should check out: Brooklyn Bridge Ventures just raised a $15.1 million fund

6.  Bullpen Capital

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and also a company in the Gaingels portfolio, Bullpen Capital focuses on post-seed companies that have achieved product-market fit, have strong existing investors, and have an operational plan to hit big milestones within a 12-month period.  They have worked with Zynga, Twenty20 and udemy.

Highlighted content you should check out: Fanduel, Ipsy, Zynga, Marketo: Here’s How Bullpen Capital Keeps Working Its Magic

7.  500 Startups Black and Latino Microfund

500 Startups is also making strides to promote Blacks and Latinos.  They’ve created a microfund that will invest in about 100 companies, giving Black and Latino founders access to capital, networks, and entrepreneurial expertise. Recently, Monique Woodard made headlines when she became the first black female VP at the firm.  She’s been working to advance diversity and inclusion in the industry and is the founder and executive director of Black Founders, another organization on this list.

8. Kapor Capital

Kapor has a deep commitment to diversity: 56% of their investments have a founder who is a woman or person from an underrepresented background.  They believe that the experience of founding teams from under-represented backgrounds provide a competitive edge.  Brian Dixon serves as an investment partner at Kapor Capital. Kapor identifies and evaluates early-stage investments and helps portfolio companies grow effectively.

Highlighted content you should check out: Venture Capital Doesn’t Invest in Blacks and Latinos – But That’s Changing in Oakland

9. Aspen Capital Fund

They build Hispanic and Minority business success stories by providing expertise for early stage businesses.  They provide mentorship, strategic advice and technical support.  They focus especially on first-time entrepreneurs and first-time business owners.

Highlighted content you should check out: Aspen Capital Fund Calls for Hispanic Tech Startups for Venture Capital Data Project

10. NewME

Angela Benton is the founder and CEO of the NewME Accelerator.  NewME aims to accelerate, educate and empower underrepresented tech entrepreneurs around the world. Over 200 startups have gone through their 12-week program since it began five years ago.

Highlighted content you should check out: NewME Accelerator Founder and CEO Angela Benton

11. Reach Capital

Reach Capital is a firm that provides capital to support companies focused on educational issues. Shauntel Poulson is a general partner there and currently sits on the Boards of Tales2Go, a company that focuses on improving literacy, and CodeNow, a nonprofit that teaches computer programming to underrepresented high school students.

Highlighted content you should check out: Reach Capital offers a surprising twist on venture investing

12. SoftTech VC

Transitioning from GP to VP in October of last year, Charles Hudson is a venture partner at SoftTech VC and serves as managing Partner at Precursor Ventures.  SoftTech VC is a relatively new, early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on pre-seed B2B and B2C software application investments in San Francisco, New York and Toronto.

Highlighted content you should check out: SoftTech VC goes big, raising $150 million across two new funds

13. VenRock

An advocate for diversity, Richard Kerby serves as a VP at Venrock, a firm he joined as a senior associate in August 2012.  VenRock partners with entrepreneurs who have grand ambitions to tackle big problems that seem impossible. Their engagement, network, passion are aimed to help entrepreneurs win big.

Highlighted content you should check out: Venrock’s Bryan Roberts On What To Expect In 2016

14.  Collaborative Fund

Another promoter of diversity, Kanyi Maqubela is a partner at Collaborative Fund.  His twitter account definitely worth following if you are interested in venture capital and startups.  Collaborative Fund looks to support companies that make the world a better place.  They’ve worked with both Kickstarter and Lyft.

Highlighted content you should check out: The Collaborative Fund Turns Six: What I’ve Learned

15. Intel Capital

Focusing on both seed-stage and growth stages, Intel Capital has invested more than $11.8b in over 1,478 companies.  More than 200 of their portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges or have been acquired or purchased in a merger.

Highlighted content you should check out: Intel Capital expands diversity fund to include LGBTQ, disabled, and veteran founders

The Bottom Line

Even though it may be more difficult, you can make inroads to achieving your entrepreneurial goals and dreams.  I hope you found this list provides motivation and perhaps some useful insights.

Remember that there is no failure, only feedback.  Even when things seem most frustrating, keep in mind that there are groups that are pushing for diversity and who support people of color and LGBTQ. 

About: Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, known as the Wealthy Yogi, is the co-founder of Bootstrap Capital and Host of Startup Funding. She is passionate about helping business owners ready to attract funding. Dr. Novellus has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, WSJ, and Rolling Out. She has also completed the Pipeline Angels Fellowship, a Kauffman program in angel investing. Roshawnna serves on the Commission on Women for the City of Atlanta, and was honored as one of the Women Who Means Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  For capital, coaching, and connections, go to https://www.startupfunding.co/.