Take in these facts:
- Nearly 100% of the founders of companies in Silicon Valley are either white or Asian
- Less than 1% of the founders in Silicon Valley are African American or Latino
- Only 15% of venture capital -funded companies in the States have a woman on the executive board
- Only 3% of total venture capital dollars go to female CEOs
Intel is investing up to $125 million to back startups that are women and minority led. Brian Krzanich, the chief executive of Intel, made the announcement today, which is part of Intel’s overall diversification of talent in the technology industry commitment. This is huge effort than is incomparable with any other attempts to make changes to Silicon Valley.
Minorities, in this case, would be African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. The reason Asians aren’t considered is due to the fact that many Asians already dominate the tech industry.
Lisa Lambers is Intel Capital’s team leader for software and services investments, and she said:
“The big issue we have seen, because venture capitalists are on the leading edge, is that we need to engage here,” “We see a lack of engagement and involvement across the industry as a whole. We want to be a catalyst. We believe it’s good business. Half the population is women. Women are leading in every other industry. And there is a tremendous demographics shift.” “If you look at the population growth, it is coming from underrepresented minorities. We need to support them directly. We think this is smart on a number of levels.”
The investments are going to technology companies as well as gaming. So far Intel has already invested $16.7 million today with Brit+Co. CareCloud, Mark One, and Venafi. All this being said, Intel is looking specifically for global tech companies mainly, while showing some room for flexibility.
Krzanich said in a statement:
“We believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results. Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology startup workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through their successes.”
This is a great starting point to diversify an industry that is in desperate need of it. It looks like Intel is headed in the right direction, but time will only tell if other tech giants will follow suit.