Creating an environment that supports inclusivity at all levels.
A successful relationship between VCs and founders can only be built on mutual trust and transparency.
Women, founders of color, and LGBTQIA+ founders each receive less than 5% of VC funding each year.
Welcome to The Venture Atlas, a community of like-minded organizations working to change the landscape of venture capital through inclusivity, accessibility, and collaboration. We are honored and excited to become a part of your organization’s journey and serve as value-add supporters of your work.
We believe that inclusion in this network comes with responsibilities, including:
• transparency of our values, opinions, and operations;
• being ready to support the community when asked;
• respecting the governance structure and needs of portfolio companies.
The Venture Atlas seeks to have a measurable impact in fostering social progress and addressing inequities of access across the venture ecosystem.
This pledge is a way we confirm mutual alignment to the values of diversity, inclusion, representation, and equity within our membership. It is a direct way in which we invite you to stand alongside us and express your values clearly and openly.
We ask that you review the below before submitting your request to join the Venture Atlas.
For the sake of clarity, this pledge shall not be construed as a binding obligation to perform according to any criteria. Rather, it serves as a record of our mutual connection and alignment regarding the topics below.
Non-discrimination and diversity policies
We encourage you to consider adopting a non-discrimination policy and making its practices a core requirement for your operations. As a member of The Venture Atlas, you publicly pledge to avoid discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of your activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, the appointment to and termination from your Board of Directors, hiring and firing of staff or contractors, selection of volunteers, selection of vendors, and providing of services. As a venture capital fund, you commit to creating an environment that supports inclusivity at all levels. When people feel respected and included they can be more creative, innovative, and successful leading to improved business outcomes. We believe visibly identifying yourself as a voluntary ally is vital in addressing the challenges faced in venture capital.
Directing dollars towards the underserved
Women, founders of color, and LGBTQIA+ founders each receive less than 5% of overall Venture Capital funding each year, with subsets like women of color receiving less than <1% of venture investment. These numbers are clearly not reflective of the makeup of our population. The barriers to these communities are often ones of access, and fund members of The Venture Atlas commit to actively seeking out and supporting founders, investors, and communities that are traditionally underserved. Some suggested practices we encourage your fund to consider include: diversifying your GP makeup with emerging managers of various communities, creating intentional apprenticeship opportunities for individuals of diverse backgrounds, filling the “friends and family” round for people of color, developing partnerships with nonprofits that elevate and support entrepreneurship in underserved communities.
A successful relationship between VCs and founders can only be built on mutual trust and transparency. The Venture Atlas believes in a “Founders First” approach, providing not just investment into startups but also compassion and empathy throughout the relationship and a people-first approach to the diligence process. Trust and collaboration are the two most essential elements in building a Founders First model. Trust is derived from collaboration; collaboration is a result of transparency and responsiveness. For investments to be authentically "founder friendly," both sides must maintain a commitment to honesty, clarity and firmly-held convictions throughout the relationship.
Thank you again for your trust in The Venture Atlas and for your commitment to our core values of diversity, equality, and inclusion. Together we will create a better and more equitable business world.
The Venture Atlas