HBR weighs in on founder diversity

Over at the Harvard Business Review, entrepreneur Cheryl Contee has authored a post with a deliciously provocative headline: "Advice on Launching a Tech Startup When You’re Not a White Man."

As the kids say, Contee brings the receipts to back that one up:

Whether intentional or not, the tech startup landscape has been optimized for middle- and upper-class white males. According to one analysis, 77% of venture-backed founders are white and 90% of them are men.

She gives some really good advice for entrepreneurs from there, which I'll let you behold from yourself, as the full post is really worth a read. The only thing I'd add is that her pointers can also probably help other "non-traditional" founder populations as well that aren't even mentioned in the article, including tech founders who:

  • Are older than 30.
  • Don't already live in one of the three largest metro areas for venture capital activity (San Francisco Bay Area, NYC, and Boston).
  • Aren't alumni of an Ivy, Stanford, MIT, or Cal-Berkeley.

In my own experience as a founder, the current VC ecosystem sucks at funding these cohorts too. Glad to see founders like Contee speaking out about not just reforming the messed-up situation over time but finding ways to effectively work around it right now.

Header image by Omar Lopez via Unsplash.

Show Comments