Our Core Values
★ Make Others Successful
★ Be a Connector
★ Add Delight
★ Always Be Learning
★ Culture Is Currency
Our core values guide our work in support of our vision and mission. We provide the links and opportunities necessary to help offset gaps and promote growth in the VC ecosystem for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx innovators.
Our strategy is long-tailed and is a mixed approach of:
Having strong relationships with top-tier talent at HBCUs;
Creating a best-in-class preparation program and successful onramps to opportunities in tech and venture capital;
Building community around our mission;
Publishing research and emerging practices to influence industry; and leveraging industry power and influence to shift culture, practices, and policies.
Our Fellowship programs (PledgeLA, 50 South, and HBCU) involve a selective process for providing top-tier talent with a comprehensive experience in venture capital. Fellows learn and gain hands-on experience through formalized training, a paid summer work experience with a VC host firm, exposure to our lab fund, mentoring, and ongoing connections and resources.
The Lab Fund is a teaching venture capital fund. It provides benefits to both our Fellows and selected early-stage entrepreneurs. Fellows gain experience in equity-conscious startup investing and entrepreneur support. Early-stage entrepreneurs from HBCUs and historically excluded racial and ethnic groups receive training, non-dilutive funding support, and a network of connections and resources.
Emerging Venture Leaders
The Emerging Venture Leaders (EVLs) program recognizes, amplifies, and connects emerging talent in venture capital. These honorees are principals, associates, analysts, and ecosystem builders that are leading the transition to a new innovation economy where the thoughts, ideas, leadership, and impact of capital allocation strategies are directed by diverse individuals.
Meet Our Fellows
"HBCUvc introduced me to the startup ecosystem, a dynamic world that has given me a newfound appreciation for the future of innovation and the founders building it. The fellowship’s robust curriculum and community gave me access to a vast network and breadth of knowledge. As a former research scientist, it also gave me the well-roundedness to seamlessly transition into my career."
Delsa Castillo is a Class 4 ("Dior") HBCUvc Fellow who joined our community from Clark Atlanta University. She joined Silicon Valley Bank as a Startup Strategic Partner following a summer of work with Closed Loop Partners in 2021 through the HBCUvc Fellowship.
Clark Atlanta | Class 4 Fellow | Startup Strategic Partner at Silicon Valley Bank
"HBCUvc provided the greatest introduction to this industry and I'm grateful to have learned from, and with, such an incredible community. True [Ventures] is a partner of HBCUvc and I would not have met the team without the Fellowship."
Geo Mirador is a Class 4 ("Dior") HBCUvc Fellow and prominent HBCU alumnus of Norfolk State University. He joined True Ventures as an analyst in 2022 following a summer of work with portfolio company Solvvy through the True Ventures Fellowship.
Norfolk State University | Class 4 Fellow | VC @ LaunchTN | Analyst at True Ventures
“Before HBCUvc I didn’t know any founders or what venture capital was. Today, I maintain value-creating relationships with culture-shifting founders, technologists, and investors, HBCUvc serves as a platform that has helped me push my career forward.”
Olumide Longe, a Class 2 HBCUvc Fellow and HBCU alumni of Prairie View A & M University co-designed our first venture lab for minority founders. In 2020 he co-founded Roundtrip Afrika, a venture studio for African founders and investors to explore the transformative power of technology, investing, and community. He started his career at Goldman Sachs as an Analyst on the U.S. Small-Cap investing team. He’s currently a Growth Product Manager at Ancestry.
Prairie View A&M University | Class 2 Fellow | Growth PM @Ancestry
"I had always wanted to launch a fund for minority-owned businesses, and HBCUvc gave me the confidence to do just that. The absence of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the VC space fueled my passion to make a change, even if just incrementally."
Kiante Bush, a Class 4 (Dior) HBCUvc Fellow, from Morgan State University launched a student-led accelerator in January of 2022, called Venture for T.H.E.M. (Tech High-Performers & Entrepreneurial Minorities).
Kiante Bush, a class 4 HBCUvc Fellow and HBCU alumnus of Morgan State University. In January he founded Venture for T.H.E.M. (Tech High-Performers & Entrepreneurial Minorities), a student-led accelerator to especially support Black & Latinx early-stage startups. Venture for T.H.E.M. recently launched their inaugural cohort of five minority-led startups, which will receive non-dilutive investment, alignment to mentorship, educational workshops, & a community of support & collaboration. Kiante is continuing his career in Project Management at Accenture while being recently promoted as a Senior Technology Consultant.
Morgan State University | Class 4 Fellow | Founder of Venture for T.H.E.M