Versatile VC is strictly a financial investor; we invest to optimize returns for our limited partners. That said, we are particularly excited to invest in underrepresented founders and in companies selling to the emerging domestic markets addressing the interests of African-American, Latinx, and other underrepresented communities. We commit to share publicly Diversity & Inclusion statistics on our portfolio.
We know that there’s more work to be done to increase the presence of women and underrepresented people in the innovation community. We’ve organized a number of other initiatives to support diversity & inclusion goals:
- Alternative VC. Our typical financial structure is disproportionately attractive to founders who are women or from underrepresented backgrounds.
- Training. Many corporate boards are seeking to diversify, but don’t know enough non-traditional candidates. We developed a training for executives on How to Work with Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds, which helps leaders of all backgrounds grow into executive roles or board seats at private equity and VC-backed companies. This is particularly relevant for people from underrepresented backgrounds who are seeking to join boards and are not networked in the right circles.
- Recruiting. Every time a role opens at Versatile VC, we work hard to source a diverse pipeline, and try to monitor for bias in every interview. We promote openings where we know they’ll be seen by underrepresented audiences, and proactively ask our network to make referrals. We also run structured interviews with a pre-set list of competencies and questions. When we onboard new companies, we discuss the importance of D&I and offer to share best practices we’ve seen from other companies.
- Community. At all the events which we attend or organize, we try extremely hard to bring together as diverse a group as possible.
- Venture Capital Access Program. Our founder co-founded the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Venture Capital Access Program, a joint venture with the National Association of Investment Companies (“NAIC”), which helps women and diverse entrepreneurs raise capital. In its first full year of operation, VCAP attracted 159 applicants. 34 went through VCAP committee screening; 17 went to a HBS Angels pitch night; 6 attended the annual NAIC convention, and 3 received funding from HBS Angels and/or other sources.
- Harvard Business School Alumni Angels. Our founder has in the past organized a series of HBS Alumni Angels pitch nights, joint with a range of affinity groups for HBS Alumni: HBS African-American, HBS Healthcare, HBS LBGT, and HBS Latino. These are open to all startup founders, regardless of their educational background.
We welcome any other ideas you may have.
Versatile VC invests and hires based on the merit, qualifications, and size of opportunities presented, without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other basis. We have posted publicly our Anti-Harassment & Anti-Discrimination Policy and Procedures.