Intel launches investment fund for startups led by women & minorities

The fund aims to invest $125 million over the next five years

By J.J. McCorvey, Fast Company

Intel_web2Intel Corporation, the Silicon Valley chip maker and tech giant, launched today the Intel Capital Diversity Fund, which over the next five years will invest $125 million in businesses led by women and underrepresented minorities.

The fund, which will be run by Intel Capital, the company’s investment arm, will vet applicants based on the demographics of their executive team, as well as their overall diversity efforts and their product’s strategic fit with Intel.

“Intel Capital invests tens of millions of capital per year into strategic small startups,” Intel president Reneé James told Fast Company. “We said, if we’re going to make these investments anyway, we should use our money for good, and put a portion of that into businesses led by minorities [that focus on] technology areas we want to invest in. People aren’t doing that.”

According to the latest available data, just 1% of venture-backed startups are led by a black founder, while companies with a woman CEO receive 3% of VC dollars.

While it did not specify investment amounts, Intel also unveiled the fund’s first four portfolio companies: Venafi, a female-led cyber-security startup; Mark One, best known for its biometric Vessyl cup, whose executive leadership includes an Asian-American CEO and three African-American VP’s; CareCloud, a developer of cloud-based health care software founded by a Hispanic male; and Brit + Co., the female-focused DIY blog and platform founded by Google alum Brit Morin. Read more …

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