Announcing the Blueprint Project for Founders of Color in New York City

Via Brendan Church on Unsplash

Venture capital isn’t an even playing field — only 1% of funded startup founders were black and 1% were Latinx, while they make up 11% and 17% of the population, respectively (CBInsights). There is a multitude of reasons for the inequity in venture funding — lack of access to VC communities, inability to take on additional risk, discrimination throughout the tech industry, and many, many more. Simply put, many founders of color lack a guide on how to navigate the tricky world of startups. The problem is complicated — there are personal, academic, and systematic factors that continue to stack against these founders and it’s tough to untangle them.

Dorm Room Fund has always aspired to develop an ecosystem of amazing startup founders solving really complicated problems. Sometimes, we’ve even dug in and tried solving them ourselves (see VCWiz and our SF-based Female Founders Track!). We decided to continue that bold entrepreneurial spirit and try our hand at improving the funding opportunities for underrepresented minority founders.

Guidance From Idea to Venture Funding

We are thrilled to announce that we are launching the Blueprint Project , a masterclass series that aims to empower Black, Latinx, and Native American students and recent graduate founders. Our intention is to provide our founders with a curriculum, mentorship, and a strong community to develop a ‘blueprint’ on how to execute pitch-ready ventures.

As a community of investment partners and portfolio founders, and with the backing of First Round Capital, there is a wealth of knowledge that we can share from our experiences. We’ve leveraged our network to find top tier founders, operators, lawyers and VCs to speak on tactical startup principles and offer perspectives that founders would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

We’ve also partnered with First Round Capital’s phenomenal FastTrack mentorship program to give our program participants the one-on-one guidance that propels startups towards a profitable company.

Build Relationships With Others in Your Shoes

We believe that seeing others that have persevered through similar challenges, backgrounds, and setbacks can inspire one to overcome obstacles. We are offering our founders an intimate dinner series with the nation’s top minority venture capitalists and founders.

As part of this program, you’re part of the Dorm Room Fund family. You will form the same bonds that we have among investment partners and portfolio founders and leverage our community and one another for support, advice, and connections.

At Dorm Room Fund we’ve helped over 250+ student-led startups receive funding and build their dreams. We’re ready to take on this new challenge and advance our community into a more diverse future.

Are you a Black, Latinx, or Native American student or recent graduate working on a startup? Please apply to the Blueprint Project today — applications are rolling and are open now!

Know anyone who is a perfect fit? Feel free to send them this link and encourage them to apply.

For questions on The Blueprint Project, please reach out to Courtney Andrews at candrews@dormroomfund.com