2020 marked a critical inflection point for BLCK VC. In a year filled with trials and tribulations, from a crippling global pandemic to a national reckoning of systemic racism, the BLCK VC network rallied around us, helping our team achieve significant growth as an organization, as a community, and as a movement.
As we reflect on this past year and the great strides we’ve made, we want to share our sincerest gratitude for our Committees and our Chapters that have been the catalysts driving our work for the past year. We would like to also thank our incredible sponsors that have been integral to our growth, elevating BLCK VC as an organization and providing the resources we need to expand our collective impact.
At BLCK VC, we will only partner with sponsors that align with our mission and our values, which is exemplified by Candice Morgan, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at GV, who shares GV’s excitement to partner with BLCK VC.
“We continue to be inspired by BLCK VC’s mission and the leadership they’ve taken in uniting the industry this year, from the We Won’t Wait commitments to the numerous programs launched this year,” said Morgan. “We are excited to continue partnering with the BLCK VC team to increase industry representation and capital in the Black community, as we collectively work towards a world of greater equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
Thank you, all, for your steadfast commitment to our community and your unrelenting passion in pushing BLCK VC forward.
Special thanks to the following sponsors for their continued support and generosity:
A Look Back At 2020
This year, we solidified our mission of transforming the venture capital industry by setting the goal of doubling the number of Black investors and Black partners in the industry by 2024 from 3% to 6%, and 2% to 4%, respectively.
To reach that goal, BLCK VC has launched several programs to train aspiring Black investors, while supporting existing ones. We launched some incredible programs, including:
Breaking into Venture (BiV)
A 7-week program designed for early-career individuals looking to break into the world of venture financing. Participants learn the fundamental principles of the venture capital industry, gain hands-on experience with investing, and receive mentorship to help them get their first job in the field.
Black Venture Institute (BVI)
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. This program was developed and executed in partnership with Salesforce Ventures, Operators Collective, and UC Berkeley.
NYC Path Program
An 8-week fellowship program for New York City-based Black investors. Modeled after the BiV program this program supports finance professionals in the greater NYC area who are interested in entering the venture capital industry.
BLCK VC’s programs will serve as part of the backbone for transforming the venture industry, as stated by Jackson Georges Jr., Vice President of Business Development and Growth at CapitalG:
“As a BLCK VC Committee Lead, Steering Committee member and a Black Venture Institute(BVI) Fellow, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impact of BLCK VC programs on the venture ecosystem and its potential for wealth creation for the Black community at large.”
Over the last 12 months, we’ve also continued to build the foundation of BLCK VC! In addition to the programs and initiatives we’ve launched in 2020, we have:
- Incorporated as a nonprofit organization;
- Hired our first full time employee, Samer Yousif, as Chief of Staff;
- Garnered more than 60 national media placements including The Economist, Bloomberg, CNBC, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, and more;
Highlights from Our Community
In addition to the organizational growth we’ve experienced, the BLCK VC community has also exponentially grown over 2020.
- BLCK VC was recognized in The 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital! Our Co-founders, Sydney Sykes and Frederik Groce, as well as Jackson Cummings, ERG & Startups Committee Lead, and Solomon Hailu, BLCK VC LA Lead, were all honorees!
- Launch of the BLCK VC DMV Chapter
- 600+ people have joined our Slack community.
New This Year: Virtual Events
Amidst a global shutdown of in-person events, BLCK VC has continued to engage our community through virtual events. Those events include:
- “We Won’t Wait” Event
- Black Check Writers Summit
- Investment Case Study — Seed/Series A/Growth, with Mercedes Bent (Lightspeed Venture Partners), Adina Tecklu (Khosla Ventures), and Elliott Robinson (Bessemer)
- BLCK VC — African American Directors Forum Silicon Valley 2020
- National Security Insights Speaker Series: This series of fireside chats kicked off toward the end of 2020, and featured Josh Wolfe (Lux), Charles Hudson (Precursor), Amy Zegart (Stanford), and Katherine Boyle (General Catalyst).
What we’re looking forward to in 2021
We’re so proud of what BLCK VC has been able to accomplish over the past 12 months — but we know we’ve only scratched the surface.
In 2021, we’re looking forward to building on the momentum we’ve gained in 2020. We have plans to expand our program offerings to engage and support our community, and will continue to expand the BLCK VC community by launching additional Chapters across the U.S.
Cheers to 2021!