How Bread and Butter Ventures is staying committed to diversity
The following is a letter we sent to our portfolio companies and LPs in the first part of June. It has been updated to reflect our new branding, team members and platform.
We all recently watched the deplorable murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police. The most recent in a terrible series of highly visible incidents against black men and women in our country.
First and foremost we unequivocally condemn racism and police brutality. The unfortunate truth is that so much more occurs when phones aren’t there to capture it. These types of actions and incidents aren’t new, they have always been a part of our society. The recent events have also served as a reminder of the major issues that are present in the entrepreneurial community across the country and certainly in the Twin Cities, where we call home.
These types of actions are against both our personal values and those of our fund. For too long, many of us have disregarded the role we’ve played in contributing to the problem. As a fund, we acknowledge that. There is so much we can do to be better and we want to be part of the broader solution. Here are the efforts Bread and Butter Ventures is committing to today:
- We are participating in the BLCK VC #wewontwait day of action. We have provided our statistics and are committing to the measures below. As part of this we have provided a donation to CODE2040 as well.
- Publicly report the diversity metrics of our fund on an annual basis. Our founder breakdown today is: 13% Black, 33% Female, 15% South Asian/Asian, 10% Latino; There is some overlap between these segments and these numbers are lower at the CEO level.
- We are currently building out additional support, our platform, offered to our portfolio companies, including resources around anti-bias, and diversity, equity and inclusion resources. We are open to suggestions on how else our post-investment efforts can play a role.
- We are carving out a portion of our team’s fees to financially support organizations that support black founders and organizations that align with our values and culture.
- When invited to speak/be on panels we will only agree to events/panels with diverse representation and help those organizers recruit speakers to help present more diverse perspectives if they do not meet our qualifications.
We will strive to do more because we believe everyone in this world deserves equal opportunities. Everyone deserves respect. Everyone deserves to be treated like you would want to be treated. But we will also do it because it is good for our business. Our job is to invest in the best founders in the world and then support them however we can. This is what allows us to provide superior financial returns for you, our investors. We firmly believe that startups, venture funds and other “entrepreneurial” organizations that have inclusive and diverse founders and employees will outperform those that do not. In this case, doing the right thing is right for everyone.
We don’t have everything figured out and will likely take mis-steps along the way. Our hope in sharing our goals and commitments with you, our community, is that you can help hold us accountable as we seek to continuously improve as a firm and as a community.