In business, it takes money to make money. Yet for many Black and Latinx founders, access to capital is a barrier to entry into their respective industries. Another barrier is often access to venture capitalists who come from similar backgrounds as them, who understand them, and who believe in their ideas and businesses enough to invest in them.
According to research, only 1% of VC-backed companies have Black founders, and only 2% of firms have investment team members who identify as Black.
San Francisco based technologist, Hadiyah Mujhid, has been solving for that equity problem as the founder and CEO of HBCUvc. Prominently known for building pathways for underrepresented investors and founders, HBCUvc has led the charge on developing the next generation of venture capital leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities through their strategic programming and partnerships. With
Romanna Flores is an IT Systems Analyst at Intel and as of this summer the cofounder of Mariachi STEAM, a summer program for young Latinx musicians that is dedicated to connecting the dots between science, technology, engineering, mathematics and music.
“I like to say that I did not choose this career but that this career chose me,” shares Flores. “Every industry that I entered started with a creative focus and then evolved to a more technical position allowing me to create innovative, digital interactions. My willingness to learn and experiment with emerging technologies was embraced by application teams who welcomed a different perspective to problem-solving.”
With Mariachi STEAM, Flores and her cofounder Richard Flores are hoping to cultivate the same encouraging, informative environment for Latinx students.
“Richard Flores and I both witnessed lack-of-representation