Today, in June, we recognize the nation’s still-needed efforts to tackle structural racism and discrimination, including in the world of technology. This week, HBCUVC, a non-profit, launched a million-dollar fund aimed at diversifying venture capital around the world. Founder Hadiyah Mujid told me that the capital would disburse disrespect to the neglected founders, defined as black, indigenous and LatinX entrepreneurs, instead of replacing the over-the-top angel.
But he further acknowledges that supporting founders was not the only primary goal. Instead, he explained to me the importance of defining “education capital”. Similar to how teaching hospitals practice aspiring aspiring doctors and teach them the craft before formally entering the field, the fund wants to work for their already about 230 aspiring investors that many historians have historically started from black colleges and universities. Significantly, NonDilTune Capital provides entrepreneurs with a learning experience with funding Sun Equity and low stocks.
Right now a lot of organizations are starting to fund [including] the primary goal of helping founders. And that’s our goal, but we hope that the training will have an effective impact and provide a really on-ramp for the next best class of investors … and to do that they need to have a vehicle for training. While I’m not always a fan of renaming for capital, “education capital” is certainly a mandatory framing. Track records are everything in this industry, and the people presented often don’t get the benefit or convenience of access to them – from a dollar or deal standpoint. Scout programs have long existed to fill this gap, but I think there is still a lack of purposefulness in the neighborhood that seems capable of writing investment memos, asking questions, and being new.
This week, VLC to BLC launched its scout program and Google Startups launched a free financing tool for black founders, pointing to the growing focus on seed sowing by various organizations. HBCUVC’s funding was announced almost a year after it closed due to lack of capital. Mujid explained how the unjust killing of George Floyd led to the biggest one-day grant in his nonprofit life, which “changed the course of programming.” He added that much of the interest was in response to the knee-jerk reaction, urging the public to view the work as a long-term commitment.