Originally published here by HBCUvc. At HBCUvc, we don’t put too much stock in “best of” lists or other league tables that purport to sort people by merit. Ranked lists don’t do a good job of assessing an individual’s worth or accurately measuring her contributions to an industry like venture capital where feedback cycles are long and the best contributors often work behind the scenes to help entrepreneurs succeed. On top of this, the lists tend to focus on the accomplishments of White men at the expense of other contributors.
A key component of our thesis at HBCUvc is how university-affiliated networks influence venture capital ecosystems. According to Richard Kerby’s “Where Did You Go to School?” — forty percent of venture capitalists attended Stanford or Harvard. Stanford and Harvard are also ranked as the top two universities for producing the most funded startup CEOs. I wanted to know which HBCUs are already producing talent in the venture capital ecosystem. I compiled a list of 59 HBCU grads who are working in venture capital or have worked in the industry in the past five years.
“HBCUvc is solving for the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in Venture Capital (VC) to create inclusive and equitable economies.” That’s my formal pitch when I meet people at industry events. I admit it contains a lot of buzzwords. Depending on who’s in my audience, I will alter my pitch and say: “We’re creating Black and Latinx venture capital investors so that more entrepreneurs of color will receive funding, and ultimately create job and wealth opportunities for communities of color.” In response to either version of this pitch, the curious audiences will ask