How Black Women Can Compete in the Boys' Club of Tech

September 13, 2018

By Madison Alworth

Minorities are often underserved when it comes to the VC funding space, but one social enterprise group has ambitions to change that.

"Innovation happens everywhere, in every community, in every gender, in every race, every class," Kathryn Finnerty founder of digitalundivided, said Thursday in an interview with Cheddar.

But less than 1 percent of American venture capital-backed founders in 2016 were black, according to the Center for Global Policy Solutions.

Part of the problem is that people in minority communities just don't have access to the right investors.

"The average person doesn't know a VC and probably doesn't know how to actually connect, and that's one of the things we do at digitalundivided," Finnerty said.

The group is committed to changing the narrative by guiding talented black and Latina women founders through the start-up process in a 9-month incubator program. digitalundivded's work starts at the beginning and helps innovators navigate the complex planning and funding ecosystem.

Finnerty is optimistic she'll be able to effect change. According to her company's estimates, the number of start-ups founded by black women has more than doubled since 2016. And support seems to be following.

"There has been increased attention on this problem," Finnerty said. "There has been increased investment in the space, as well."

Applications for the 2019 digitalundivided incubator program open on December 6.

For full interview click here.