With a focus on building up the infrastructure for high-caliber BIPOC managers, VC Include has announced the selection of 15 emerging venture capital and impact fund managers.
The funds represent a total of 22 GPs that will join a nine-month fellowship program that is geared to help accelerate fundraising efforts, team development and other additional support as the managers raise assets. The fellowship is backed by the Visa Foundation, UBS, Blue Haven Initiative and the MacArthur Foundation.
“Over the last several years of building platforms and pipelines of investors to invest in diverse and women led managers, we saw both an uptick in new managers in the market as well as the managers that we worked most closely with having a challenging time closing their funds,” said VCI Founder Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson. “I wanted to build a full infrastructure that will meet diverse managers where they are and would also be a bridge to LPs that track to their fund size, because we know it takes so much more for first time BIPOC managers to raise their funds. Ultimately, it’s about access to capital, it’s also about community, mental and emotional support and education, as many managers are navigating new terrain and can sometimes get stuck because they’re not reaching out to the right sources of capital.”
VC Include said that the Fellowship program is the first major step in systematically moving capital so that undervalued Fund I managers grow into Fund IV, V and beyond. The Fellows selected represent just a small cross-section of the incredibly high-quality funds that are raising between $10 million and $100 million dollars. Robinson said the team is excited to share more data on the growing ecosystem, and look forward to engaging more diverse managers as they grow in the coming years.
“I ultimately believe that by supporting diverse managers to build strong fund franchises, we can amplify and accelerate investment into underrepresented founders to drive positive impact and generational wealth,” she added.
Founded in 2018, the WOC-led firm has been working with diverse emerging managers — including Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Women — with an aim to drive economic growth and positive long-term impact.
“So many amazing funds applied, that it was an extensive and quite difficult process to decide on the final 15 funds for the Fellowship. We’re glad to welcome the 22 individuals across 15 funds from across the country, to the program. Based on VCI’s extensive research into what first-time fund managers’ needs are, we have a specific curriculum and set of activities to bolster the success of these funds, as well as create a collaborative community cohort filled with peer-learning opportunities,” said Dharmishta Rood, director of Programs + Partners at VCI.