Black Venture Institute Graduates First 51 Fellows

We are thrilled to have completed the first Black Venture Institute cohort with our 51 inaugural Fellows. This is an exciting step in our journey toward transforming the venture and technology landscape, with a goal of materially increasing the number of Black check writers in the venture ecosystem. Black Venture Institute (BVI) aims to graduate 300 new BVI Fellows over the next three years. The Black Venture Institute exceeded even our own high expectations, particularly with respect to the charisma and engagement of our outstanding Fellows. While there are many things we enjoyed about this first cohort, perhaps the most inspiring was how quickly they formed relationships with each other. The Fellows actively sought opportunities to support each other and work together from Day 1.

The Black Venture Institute is an intensive, curriculum-based continuing education program designed to provide established Black operators the education, experience, and connections they need to become angel and venture investors. Through the Black Venture Institute, BVI Fellows learn foundational venture principles like financing, sourcing, diligence, and corporate governance. Additionally, they gained valuable insights into how investors evaluate opportunities and negotiate terms. Further, and potentially most critically, BVI Fellows become part of a dynamic and highly engaged community that supports their ambitions of pursuing continued education and identifying professional opportunities.

Throughout the Black Venture Institute Program, Fellows learned from top industry minds, business leaders, and UC Berkeley professors. We would like to thank the many wonderful mentors and speakers who helped to make this program a success.

In addition to our tremendous mentors, BVI could not have been built without our founding partners: Salesforce Ventures, Operator Collective, and UC Berkeley Executive Education.

Our first 51 Fellows will remain an integral part of the BVI family. Our Fellows represented the diversity within the Black investor ecosystem: They represented 14 different states, with titles ranging from Founders and CEOs, to Operating Partners and VPs of Product. Additionally, almost one third of our cohort identified as women– our goal is to reach gender parity in our programs and we will continue to work toward that end. To learn more about our Fellows, check out the Black Venture Institute Look book.

The next Black Venture Institute Program will be hosted in April 2021, and we will begin accepting applications in January 2021. We will be selecting 50 new BVI Fellows to participate in this second cohort. To learn more about the program and sign up for updates on the application, please visit the Black Venture Institute page.

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