The disparity of venture capitalist capital for start-up black tech entrepreneurs is abysmal, compared to their caucasian counterparts. Which is noticeably prevalent throughout Silicon Valley. Only one percent of venture capital money goes to companies founded by black entrepreneurs according to a Silicon Valley Bank study. It is quite unfortunate to learn that, in this day in the age of the year 2020 racial disparities have not progressed to the magnitude as we all would expect in the tech sector. There are times where black entrepreneurs have to resort to being creative by having a white employee in pitch meetings, to increase the odds of landing an investment.
The lack of funding isn’t anything new that we had to endure throughout a multitude of industries for black entrepreneurs, fortunately, there are entrepreneurs that exhibited their craftiness on ways of raising capital. How about taking the onus on ourselves as a people, at some point, we have to strengthen empowerment amongst ourselves and oppose seeking financial help from outside our own community. We have reached a financial milestone in black culture, by producing millionaires at a higher rate than ever before. I’m an avid proponent of us as a people on pooling our resources together for funding our own tech entrepreneurs.
If you are a black entrepreneur and have difficulty procuring funds after an endless amount of pitches to venture capitalists that don’t take your pitches under true consideration. They’re black venture capitalists that are looking to fund your next big idea. Consider VC’s like Blck VC, Backstage Capital, MaC Venture Capital, Harlem Capital, and Base 10 that are looking to help scale your business. Here is more eye-opening startling data, In Silicon Valley, 91% of VC’s are men, 98% are White or Asian and 90% of VC funding goes to companies led by white males according to Early Growth Financial Services. I spoke with black tech entrepreneur Steve Keitt, Co-founder of Recorddrop.com about the difficulties that he has experienced when he sought funding.
I saw my fellow white counterparts that have relatives like uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. That has personal relationships with investors that work in a firm, that helped them get in the door and I don’t have that type of access. Instead of giving a business plan on paper, we had to adjust by utilizing our own funds in order to execute a proof of concept. Even then, once they see the potential after showing the proof of concept, they would rather us relinquish control of the company to them, rather than to come on board as a partner — Steve Kitt
In this current state of activism, can the next possible movement be #FundMeToo in Tech? The huge funding disparity has gone on for too long, the VC’s are too comfortable, due to the lack of consumer reprisal from our community. We all know all too well, how big business circumvents jurisprudence. We can’t wait for some kind of diversity legal regulation in the tech world. Therefore, let us develop more black financial consortiums to usher in an era of black tech, creating our own silicon valley in comparison to how the tv/film entrepreneurs went on to make Atlanta become black Hollywood.