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Ron Miller October 13, 2020

It is no secret that Black founders face an uphill battle in Silicon Valley, with just a sliver of the investment pie being devoted to people of color. BLCK VC, along with partners Operator CollectiveSalesforce Ventures and Berkeley Haas School of Business, is hoping to change that, and (this past week) the group announced the Black Venture Institute, an educational initiative dedicated to helping Black operators become angel investors.

The program has a goal of training 300 students over the next three years to create a network of Black investors and advisors who can begin writing checks to make investments. This is an attempt by these groups to bring some meaningful change to an entrenched investment system. In fact, BLCK VC was formed in 2018 with this goal in mind.

Frederik Groce,  principal at Storm Ventures and co-founder of BLCK VC,  says that venture capital clearly has an access problem, and this program is about trying to open up these closed networks.

“It is these closed networks that have helped contribute to the lack of access for the Black community over the years. Black Venture Institute is a structural attempt to create access for Black operators — from engineers to product marketing managers,” Groce told TechCrunch.

He added that this is about helping these operators understand how to have a role in the venture capital ecosystem. “We are attempting to equip Black technologists and tech operators with the knowledge and tools they need to better understand the industry and hopefully begin to engage within it as scouts, limited partners, angel investors — and potentially support career transitions into the industry.”

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