Washington University in St. Louis alum and entrepreneur Morgan DeBaun talked to CNBC recently about venture-capital funding for Black founders.
She said that venture capitalists can benefit by rethinking aspects of their investment criteria and recognizing their own biases. From the article at CNBC:
“You have to remember that a lot of young Black founders, we tend to look a little bit different than your typical pattern and in Silicon Valley, people often engage in pattern matching.”
- – Morgan DeBaun
DeBaun was speaking at CNBC’s Inclusion In Action Forum. The Forum was focused on improving diversity in corporate America.
DeBaun is a St. Louis native and majored in political science at WashU. She is CEO of Blavity, a media company for Black millennials. She notes that she falls outside the typical background of someone who may be receiving a lot of investment interest. Yet, according to TechCrunch, Blavity has raised at least $11 million in venture capital funding so far, including from Comcast Ventures.
DeBaun said that as investors evaluate pitches from Black founders, it’s critical to remember that there may be opportunities to be had by working with people who have different backgrounds.
And to Black founders considering whether to pursue venture funding, DeBaun says this is their time. She notes that there has never been a better time to raise money for Black-founded startups since we are in a moment when everyone is looking to diversify their companies, portfolios, and audiences.