McKinsey’s Diversity wins: How inclusion matters report, released in May 2020, reinforces that a commitment to diversity is a winning strategy. The firm’s study of ethnic and cultural diversity in 2019 demonstrates that “top quartile companies outperformed those in the fourth one by 36 percent in profitability.”
While the stats confirm the financial imperative and innovation gains of diversity, McKinsey states that “…some companies appear to be viewing [Inclusion & Diversity] as a ‘luxury we cannot afford’ during the [COVID-19] crisis.”
Venture capital is an industry fueled by innovation; diverse perspectives are required to find the most promising technology or founding team that others won’t find. The potential of a more inclusive VC ecosystem motivated our commitment to Included VC in June. Transforming our networks — inviting more diverse voices to the table — will fundamentally level up the pace of innovation.
As the startup ecosystem slowly becomes more representative of our world, it’s critical that our present-day challenges don’t become an excuse to backslide to homogeneity. Inclusion efforts have initiated a virtuous cycle of innovation in the tech startup space; as stewards of the ecosystem, we have a moral and financial responsibility to keep the cycle in motion. That’s why we’ve solidified our commitment to supporting Colorintech, a nonprofit organization focused on making Europe the most inclusive tech hub in the world. Today, we’re announcing a sponsorship of the organization that will support their Rise pre-accelerator program for underrepresented entrepreneurs.
They’ve built an impressive community of 30,000 founders, VCs, and enterprise partners.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Colorintech locally since opening M12’s office in London earlier this year. They’ve built an impressive community of 30,000 founders, VCs, and enterprise partners. They boast 1,200 graduates from their programs, 85% of whom have BAME identities. And their Rise program provides important education for early-stage founders. As a contributor to the program last year last year, I was able to share information about the different financial vehicles for founders to consider while fundraising — information that isn’t typically included in standard academic curriculum.
Today, Colorintech is opening the application for their next Rise program cohort. Applications can be submitted now through December 1, 2020. The program is for European pre-seed startup founders who have an MVP or early-stage product, identify as an ethnic minority, and are able to attend virtual evening classes. If you qualify, consider applying for the inaugural online cohort, to be announced in January. If you know someone who may be interested, please share the application their way.