Meet the company training up more diverse startup founders


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Only about one percent of venture capital backed startup founders are black according to CBS sites. Data even fewer are black women or Latino. There's not a lot of age, diversity geographic, diversity and underrepresented founders. Don't always have access to the networks or the training programs that can help them get startup funding. Mandela Dickson is a former public schoolteacher startup founder and was a mentor for entrepreneurs at the firm Cape or capital about a year ago. She created founder, Jim, which is an online only training program for would be startup founders. I talked to her the afro tech conference last week in San Francisco. Just like if you want to be a lawyer, you go to law school, if you wanna be a doctor you go to medical school, right? But there is no school for people who wanna be venture capital backed startup founders in often times the schools that are formed are informal right by your networks and a lot of underrepresented founders. Don't have the people in their networks who've raised venture capital who've Ben venture capitalists. So we're. Literally, creating kind of from the ground up this first Ebba curriculum, specifically tailored to meet the needs in how a deep level of empathy for the lived experiences of underrepresented founders. So tell me about the Taylor like what is different about the message that you give to underrepresented founders. What are the first activities we do is actually called differences as strengths, and it really is actively for founders to reflect on what makes them unique how because you didn't grow up where these other people grew up because you went to different schools and were exposed to different things that your purview is different in the world. And that you're able to see problems other people don't even know exist, and that's a competitive advantage because most people out there, are you mostly will out there are not from fluid background. And so the problems that you're going to go out and solve will actually help the majority of people since it's online only talked to me about the network building. Because I know that's a big thing that people talk about when they come out of us of an accelerator in there with a class, and they really have. It's sort of like we were all eagle scouts together. Baen it's huge. How do you create that in a in an online experience straight question? So that's actually one of the biggest things I underestimated Meyer, original hypothesis for founder, Jim was that it was a curriculum was a language barrier that the reason people were not succeeding here from certain groups was because they didn't speak the language. Well, what I grave underestimated was that people were looking for a community these individuals again, they're only in their world. They may be the only black or Brown or let LGBTQ are older founder in their circle in. So how we structure network it's in we're very intentional. We do affinity groups on a weekly basis. We also do peer trainings. So it's not just the expert trainers who have the knowledge we actually elevate the founders within our community to train each other Mandela Dixon is founder and CEO of founder, Jim incubators and exceleron for underrepresented, founders are becoming more. Common. Although experts say it'll be hard to change the industry for good until the venture capitalist themselves. Become more diverse and now for some related links. I did find some hopeful news about the tech industry, relatively speaking. An off Ed in entrepreneur magazine from about a week ago notes, a big upsurge in the number of events focused on women and investment, partly because successful women entrepreneurs are funding the next generation of founders and also because we're just talking about it a lot still only two percent of BC funding went to women at all in two thousand seventeen far less to women of color. But it's a good read binded utter website. Marketplace tech dot org, and before we go a super quick story that you might have missed and all the Amazon hubbub earlier this week. Google is not to be outdone. It said it also plans to double its workforce in New York City over the next ten years, reminding us that the ranks of the underrepresented in the tech industry are also anyone who's not in about four major metropolitan areas. A recent report on venture capital activity from pitchbook and the national venture capital association. Included what it said was a shift in attention towards startups in non coastal regions of the country. The report noted quote this trend hasn't quite surfaced in the data yet, but positive sentiment and interest are emerging. We'll see I'm Ali would. And that's marketplace tech. This is a PM. Hi, I'm Zach and I listened to marketplace in Arlington Virginia. I think what I appreciate the most about marketplace's their ability to take the economic news of the day issues such as tariffs rate hikes and tax reform cut through the political noise, and clearly and concisely explained not only how these issues affect our country and the rest of the world, but how they impact people like me. I hope you'll consider joining me as marketplace investor and donate today at marketplace dot org to help make their work possible. This marketplace podcast is brought to you by Amazon web services. Did you ever wonder how we're streaming millions of movies on demand or doing our banking from the beach and how we're watching a live mission from Mars smart business minds dreamed up those ideas and Amazon web services is how they built them with the broadest functionality and the most experienced leading enterprises trust the AWS cloud to build the next big idea. Are you ready to build it? Learn more at AWS is how dot com slash podcast.

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