Closing the Tech Funding Gap: Creating Opportunity for Founders & Funders
Join us to discuss the tech funding gap and learn how investing in under-represented tech startup founders can unlock millions of jobs and economic growth. The Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is proud to partner with DiverseCity Ventures and Tech Funding Equity initiative to discuss the #TechFundingGap. Our featured speaker will be Mariah Lichtenstern, Founding Partner and Managing Director of DiverseCity Ventures and Fellow at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub.
Current technology startup capitalization policies put under-represented tech startup founders at a disadvantage and contribute to discriminatory financing practices that cost the U.S. an estimated 9 million jobs and $300 billion in collective national income. At the same time, regulations limit most American from qualifying as “accredited investors” and supporting these founders. This project recommends that the Securities and Exchange Commission dismantle discriminatory investor criteria. It also recommends that existing institutional investors pledge to create opportunities for diverse and emerging managers to help establish their track records. These solutions can advance equitable tech startup funding.
Join us to address these issues as well as learn about:
• The role of crowdfunding
• Investor protection
• The risks of fraud
• Answer your questions!
Tech Funding Equity is a project developed within the Aspen Tech Policy Hub from January 2 – March 13, 2020. Fellows of this program are technologists who embark on a 10-week journey to learn and apply the policy making process. By the end of the program, fellows produce policy and advocacy outputs that can help solve a well-scoped policy problem.
The policy problem we set out to solve is: How might we close the early stage funding gap for under-represented tech startup founders? Our solution is twofold:
1) Address the systemic racism put in place during the Great Depression; namely, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) definition of “accredited investor.” This can help put an end discriminatory barriers to capital formation and wealth creation based on unfair and unproven assumptions.
2) Increase funding to underrepresented founders and fund managers with the Opportunity Pledge to Accelerate Equity in Startup Opportunities. This pledge offers a framework for sustained effort and lasting change.
The Carlsen Center serves as a regional hub and platform for providing approachable and accessible entrepreneurial education, community, and support to enable startup founders of all backgrounds to explore and launch their businesses.
Mission: To make innovation and entrepreneurship pervasive throughout the Greater Sacramento Region
Vision: To be the premier hub for regional innovation and entrepreneurship in the country
Purpose: To educate, support, and build the next generation of impact driven entrepreneurs
DiverseCity Ventures accelerates positive social, economic, and / or environmental impact through entrepreneurship. We do through two primary vehicles:
1.) DiverseCity Ventures LLC, an impact-oriented venture capital firm, which invests primarily in pre-seed technology-driven companies with large addressable markets, product-market fit, a dynamic founding team, and high probability of outsized returns.
2.) DiverseCity Ventures Inc., a non-profit arm, which fosters collaboration within the innovation economy while training, incubating, and supporting early stage entrepreneurs. We advise pre-seed and seed-staged companies and strive to close the funding gap that disproportionately disadvantages under-represented founders.