Doing Good While Doing Well — Why We Funded Harlem Capital

Dorm Room Fund
May 13 · 2 min read

Women, Black Americans and Latin Americans together represent ~70% of the US population. Women earn nearly 60% of U.S. bachelor’s degrees, and nonwhite students, more than a third. But, these groups received just ~3% of venture capital funding in 2018. And this ~3% reflects growth in a year with countless headlines about diversity issues in the venture capital and tech ecosystem.

Dorm Room Fund envisions a student entrepreneurial community as diverse as our world. For that reason, we could not be more excited to announce our investment in Harlem Capital Partners, our first ever investment in another venture firm. Harlem Capital is a New York based early-stage venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years.

Why Dorm Room Fund Invested

  1. Big Problem, Big Impact. Institutional biases have held countless underrepresented founders back from success. Harlem Capital is empowering these historically underrepresented founders with resources, and capitalizing on the exceptional talent that has lacked access to institutional seed capital for generations. To date, the company has backed 14 founders — only 986 to go!
  2. Extraordinary Team. The Harlem Capital team is exceptional — four mission-driven, sharp and ambitious founders with complementary backgrounds across banking, private equity, entrepreneurship and media. The two Managing Partners have been friends for seven years, with four spent as colleagues and two as Harvard Business School roommates. Harlem Capital launched an internship program in 2018 and has since received over 940 applications and hired 28 interns. This is indicative of the strong brand that Harlem Capital has cemented over the last three years. The team is supported by excellent advisors and investors.
  3. Value Add. We see this partnership as one that adds value for both entities and for the portfolio companies we seek to serve. This collaboration will help us source more amazing companies led by student female founders and student founders of color. It also creates a pipeline to a high-quality lead seed investor for our founders.

At Dorm Room Fund, we work hard to ensure great teams have the resources they need to make our world better. With our investment in Harlem Capital, Dorm Room Fund is doing good while doing well.

Are you a student working on a venture or know someone who is? Apply here to get backed by Dorm Room Fund!

Dorm Room Fund

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Built by students and powered by @FirstRound, we provide our founders with a strong network of investors, access to world-class mentors, and a $20,000 check.

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