Announcing Boost at Company Ventures, A New Program Addressing Funding Inequity
It’s no secret that venture dollars are disproportionately allocated.
Only 2% of total venture dollars are invested in Black founders or women founders, and 0.3% has been allocated to Black women founders. And these statistics have not budged in recent years, despite many well-intentioned efforts to address the issue. For example, in the third quarter of 2022, Black founders raised $187 million — only about 0.43% of the nearly $43 billion in venture funding deployed overall during that time period.
In collaboration with NYCEDC we are announcing the launch of Boost, part of the citywide Founder Fellowship program. Our 4-month program works with founders from historically underserved backgrounds who are leading venture-scalable tech startups raising pre-seed or seed rounds of funding. We aim to address the funding gap by supporting these founders through our investor and founder networks. The program offers an array of free services and culturally competent support founders need to successfully scale their businesses.
Boost will support NYC-based, first-time tech founders who identify as women or non-binary, founders of color, Latine and/or LGBTQ+. Our goal is to help historically underserved founders by growing their network of investors and advisors to help build their venture-scalable businesses and prepare them for fundraising.
In recent years, we’ve seen various programs launch to support historically marginalized founders. We are excited when we see any of those initiatives successfully reach their goals and help to launch the founders. However, the needle has not moved, so we know there is still work to be done.
The design of Boost focuses on a few key points of intervention:
- Engage a collective of interested early stage investors to refer founders to the program, offer mentorship, and join again at the end of the program to witness the founders’ progress
- Design a specific, bespoke work plan with each founder to focus their time effectively
- Surround the cohort with experienced founders and advisors to serve as mentors
- Provide a significant set of turn-key, no-cost professional services to help founders make progress
- Hot desk office space alongside other leading NYC founders
This fellowship program is designed to help close the gap to support the founders in fundraising readiness. Company Ventures has partnered with New York City for 6 years to align the firm’s interests and resources with the long-term health of New York City. Working towards solving barriers in funding disproportionality is core to the future of a thriving tech ecosystem in New York. Applications for Boost are open until December 16. To learn more and apply or to refer an exceptional founder to the fellowship, visit our website.