Episode 20: A New Type of VC With Impact Has It’s Eye On Funding 1000 Women & Minority Entrepreneurs

By Nakiso Maodza & Mike Grandinetti

In this episode, we speak with Jarrid Tingle, Managing Partner of Harlem Capital Partners. For entrepreneurs raising money, the world of venture capital can feel insular and opaque. It’s as much or more about who you are and who you know than what you’re building. For founders from under-represented groups, the numbers tell the story. Simply stated, the startup industry has a diversity problem. Of the thousands of VC partners practicing today, only 18% are female, and of the VC-backed founders out there, only 9% are female. And when you look at the statistics by race, the picture gets even more grim. Only 1 percent of venture-backed founders are black and 2% are Latino. Raised by a single mom & grandparents who placed a premium on education, Jarrid’s a graduate of 3 prestigious institutions - the Peddie School ( elite private high school/ boarding school), The Wharton School (undergrad) & Harvard University Business School ( #MBA) where he was named a BakerScholar. He’s also a Forbes 30 under 30 & an Inc. Magazine 30 under 30 designee. He spent the early years of his career in the world of private equity, where this “gap” became glaringly obvious to him and his co-founder and former HBS classmate Henri Pierre-Jacques.

Now he’s using his network, his knowledge & his experience to give back. HCP is taking a different approach, aiming to fund a much wider group of founders, including African Americans, Latinos & women. HCP’s stated goal: to invest in 1,000 “diverse” founders over the next 20 years.   “We fundamentally believe we are a venture fund with impact, not an impact fund,” according to Henri Pierre-Jacques. “The way we generate impact is to give women and minority entrepreneurs ownership.” Harlem Capital, first founded in 2015, upgraded from it’s original approach as the facilitator of angel syndicate to a full-fledged, industry-agnostic seed and Series A stage venture capital fund. They closed their debut effort on an oversubscribed $40.3 million. With its first fund close, Harlem Capital becomes one of the largest venture capital funds with a diversity mandate. Its already made numerous investments out of this fund. It’s a very inspirational story worth hearing.  

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