Day: February 11, 2021

Why Are Venture Capitalists Still Funding Mostly White, Male Entrepreneurs?


12 min read


The most stunning, but in many ways least surprising, data to emerge on small-business culture so far this year was collected within RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC’s second “Diversity in U.S. Startups” report. A statement that accompanied its release explained its methodology, which involved scrutinizing and parsing through “the top 100 U.S. VC firms by deal activity (which accounted for $68B in funding), the 3,304 companies they invested in and the 7,705 founders at the helm of those companies” for the years 2018-2019 (the previous report spanned 2013-2017).

The upshot? “VC-backed startups are still significantly male (89.3%), white (71.6%), based in Silicon Valley (35.3%) and Ivy-educated (13.7%),” the study’s authors summed up. 

The good news? This is, believe it or not, an incremental improvement over the several years prior. The bad news? Well, it should be self-evident. 

[L to R] Aisling Carlson, Shila Nieves Burney and Sarah Millar

Image Credit: Aisling Carlson; Nick F. Nelson; Brad Ogbonna

But rather than dwell on the sobering statistics, we sought out three individuals intimately involved with amassing and publicizing the new report — Aisling Carlson, strategic advisor at RateMyInvestor; Sarah Millar, principal at City Light Capital and part of the Diversity VC team; and Shila Nieves Burney, founder and managing partner at Zane Ventures — for

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