In 2020, eight out of ten VC investment partners were white, according to the NVCA-Deloitte VC Human Capital Survey. There’s a major lack of investment dollars flowing into Black-founded startups, too. TechCrunch has reported that Black women founders are particularly impacted by a lack of funding opportunities—receiving just 0.27% of all US VC dollars since 2018.
For years, venture capitalists have faced mounting pressure to diversify their portfolio companies and investment teams with Black people, other people of color, and women. In 2020, the conversation reemerged as protests took place across the globe in response to police killings of several Black Americans. Forced to reckon with its own staggering lack of diversity, players across VC vowed to work toward reducing racial disparities and inequalities in the industry.
2023, our list of Black founders and investors to watch celebrates a small fraction of the Black leaders and innovators who are making impacts in their communities, industries, and beyond. The list, which was expanded from 66 to 82 founders and investors this year, features some familiar faces and some new names.