September 2, 2020
Atlanta influences everything, the saying goes, and racial and gender equity in startups is no exception. Atlanta is home to the largest pitch event for underrepresented founders, Startup Runway, which is closing the equity gap by introducing unrepresented founders to their first investor.
This semi-annual event competitively selects high-potential startups to receive mentorship, get investor introductions, and pitch for a chance to win $10,000 non-dilutive grants.
This month’s event takes place on September 9th and will feature general partners and managing directors of VC firms such as Valor Ventures, Boeing HorizonX, Bull City Venture Partners, TiE Angles, and more alongside speakers from Crunchbase, The Gathering Spot, HBCUvc and more.
There is no doubt that a large funding gap for founders of color and female founders exists, and Atlanta is home to many of these founders. In fact, less than 5% of venture capital dollars are allocated to these founders, which is why they are “underrepresented” in venture capital. In Atlanta, founders of color and women together are the majority of founders in our ecosystem, but are not consistently invited to participate in this economy.
Startup Runway invites these underrepresented founders to participate in the venture and angel economy by introducing them to their first investor. To date, finalists have raised over $20 million in venture capital funding, tipping the scale towards equality. And 1 in 3 finalists have been backed by an investor within 6 months of the event. Startup Runway instills confidence in its Finalists and provides them with mentorship and tools for success, helping them better navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem.