In 2019, U.S.-based companies raised about $136.5 billion across more than 10,700 deals, according to the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook, a Seattle organization that monitors private equity and venture capital. Of that deal flow, however, about 10% went to people of color, women and LGBT founders combined.
In Wisconsin, startups raised $454.3 million in venture capital in 2019, the highest amount ever, but with 22% of those dollars going to women-led or women-owned businesses, which is in line with national averages of between 20% and 25%, according to the Wisconsin Technology Council. Only 34% of the overall investment capital in Wisconsin last year went to startups in southeast Wisconsin, creating a smaller pool of investment capital for entrepreneurs of color.
For years, members of the Milwaukee tech community have said the percentage of investment dollars going to founders of color in the region was in the low single digits.
To shift this trend, however, panelists who participated in the Business Journal’s Technology Roundtable on Thursday said investors in Milwaukee need to be intentional in their deals and connections with underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs. Read the full story here.