The venture capital industry is woefully lacking in diversity. Since VCIC’s inception in 1998, we have been bringing the world of venture capital to a broader audience. VCIC teams throughout the years have been demonstrably more diverse than the industry as a whole. This has been accelerated in recent years by the growth of our undergraduate events, expanding the exposure beyond graduate business schools.
While we are proud of our part in introducing venture capital to a broader audience, we can do more. For VCIC 2021, we are launching a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative to increase participation in VCIC from underrepresented groups. Our goals include increases across all types of VCIC participants: students, founders and investors.
One major element of this initiative is the creation of exclusive events for underrepresented communities. While many details have yet to be settled, the current plan is:
- One event each for women and minorities.
- All participants (students, founders and investors) will be from the respective community.
- Individuals will sign up (not the usual VCIC teams), and will be placed on teams by event organizers.
- Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. The current plan is to form hybrid teams, but we may create separate events for undergraduate and graduate students if there is demand.
- Individuals competing in these events may also compete on a team at a regional event.
- We are currently considering two different times that might be best for offering these events: pre-winter break, as a “feeder” into our regular bracket, where some of these students may be on regular VCIC teams. Or in February as a part of the bracket, with the winning team moving forward to the Global Finals.