Kapor Capital announced its Founders Commitment, a four-part roadmap for startups to create cultures of diversity and inclusion in their early stages of growth.
Beginning today, “the Commitment” will be a standard term in all new investment agreements. Existing companies in Kapor Capital’s portfolio can opt-in to the Commitment. So far, 52 companies have made the Commitment, including Bitly, CodeHS, codeSpark, Magoosh and more.
By making the Commitment, companies pledge to:
– Establish diversity and inclusion goals that are appropriate for the company’s early funding stage, employee size, customer base, and core businesses and report on diversity and inclusion in quarterly investor updates.
– Invest in tools, training programs, and/or resources that assist with mitigating bias in recruiting, hiring, and employment.
– Organize volunteer opportunities for employees to engage with underrepresented communities, especially those that reflect the company’s customer base.
– Participate in diversity and inclusion sessions to learn about what works and what doesn’t in sessions hosted by Kapor Capital, which will also be available for virtual participation when needed.
“We hope that the Founders’ Commitment will inspire many similar initiatives in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the tech ecosystem,” said Mitch Kapor, founder and partner at Kapor Capital. “When we embrace the disruptive, innovative potential tech has for all communities, and when we hold ourselves accountable to that potential, great things can happen.”
“We’ve seen overwhelming interest from our current portfolio companies in improving diversity and inclusion,” said Mandela Schumacher-Hodge, portfolio services director at Kapor Capital. “With the Founders’ Commitment, we are providing structure and resources for our companies to be successful in making their workforce more reflective of America.”
“Bitly values the importance of diversity and inclusion within our company,” said Susan Riskin, VP of human resources at Bitly. “We believe that our talent is a strategic asset to the company. By building a diverse workforce, we are not only doing the right thing, but we’re doing the right thing for our business. We truly believe that Kapor Capital Founders’ Commitment will raise awareness across the tech industry and will provide a path for underrepresented entrepreneurs to succeed and create technologies that are useful to all populations.”
Kapor Capital has a track-record of working to improve diversity and inclusion in business and technology. In 2013, the Oakland-based investment firm provided 10 scholarships to women of color so they could attend the Women 2.0 conference in San Francisco. Last year, the firm participated in President Obama’s Demo Day, a celebration of the important role entrepreneurship plays in America’s economy.