Program Looks to Mobilize First Mover Capital for Entrepreneurs of Color
Through a New Consortium
SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2022 — The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a non-profit committed to growing inclusion and access for entrepreneurs worldwide, today unveiled the Venture Equity Project (VEP), a coalition of 10 leading academic institutions and global nonprofits, and supported by JPMorgan Chase, aiming to permanently improve the barriers that exist in the flow of capital to entrepreneurs of color. While first mover capital investments (FMCIs) play a critical role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, their roles have been largely unexplored and their potential impact on subsequent venture investment in entrepreneurs of color has not been fully leveraged.
The program has built a unique data-sharing consortium of organizations in the US and UK from a range of relevant stakeholders, including capital allocators, Black entrepreneurs and community organizers, that all understand the impact of systemic racism in this sector. The initiative is focused on integrating data sets to better understand the market opportunity behind investing in diverse fund managers and entrepreneurs of color as well as identifying points in the ecosystem where intervention is needed and where opportunities exist.
The framework for this two-year project has been built with research partners at Carnegie Mellon’s Transition Design Institute, Penn State University’s Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative and Stanford University’s Department of Management Science & Engineering. These research-to-practice partners aim to unlock key insights across the organizations and from industry collaborators to build the first open data ecosystem that can power knowledge and access to improving FMCI across the globe.
Other participating organizations include:
- US partner Camelback Ventures, which is building a registry of support opportunities for BIPOC entrepreneurs – the first of its kind
- The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), which supports a new generation of Black angel investors and is sharing insights on the growth, needs and goals of these angels
- UK partner Capital Enterprise, which is gathering insights from regular conversations with GPs and LPs with a special emphasis on removing barriers to success for Black managers in the UK
- UK partner VentureESG, which is engaging LP and VC funds through curated in-person meetings to drive the adoption of more responsible and inclusive ESG-based practices at all levels of venture
- UK partner Extend Ventures, which has aggregated the most comprehensive dataset on Black UK founders to date and is expanding research efforts to the US and beyond
- The ParentPreneur Foundation, an organization which empowers Black parent entrepreneurs around the world, continues to fulfill its mission as well as provide crucial storytelling and data support
- VetsInTech, a veteran-focused entrepreneur support organization which is uplifting veteran entrepreneurs of color in their community through convenings and data sharing
“At the end of this two-year grant, our goal is to have identified the needs, data and resources to measure an increase in funding to entrepreneurs of color in the private market,” said Nicola Corzine, Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. “It is historic to have JP Morgan Chase by our side for this groundbreaking ESG work.”
“BIPOC and women-led ventures are often excluded from equitable access to capital and funding networks to help accelerate their ventures. It is why we heeded the call from Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center to join the Venture Equity Project,” said Aaron T. Walker, CEO & Founder of project partner Camelback Ventures. “Our hope is this project and the tool we are co-creating will act as a catalyst by connecting entrepreneurs to valuable resources.”
“We are designing a sustainable, data-driven system that will be fueled by insights from some of the world’s leading charities and capital allocators,” said Cate Costa, Vice President, Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase.
The official website for the Venture Equity Project containing more information on partners and their respective work can be found at https://thecenter.nasdaq.org/vep/. Keep this page bookmarked for updates as the project continues.
About Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center:
The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is a non-profit committed to growing inclusion and access for entrepreneurs worldwide. The Center meets the real time needs of entrepreneurs through educational programming and then shares its learnings with policy-leaders, capital allocators and academic institutions. Established with the support of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation, the Center has been a resource for more than 50,000 entrepreneurs since its inception in 2014, a majority of whom come from underrepresented audiences. For more information please visit: http://thecenter.nasdaq.org/.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $4.0 trillion in assets and $285.9 billion in stockholders’ equity as of March 31, 2022. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S., and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.