Debut Capital, a venture capital firm investing in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous (BLI) Founders, has launched its first-ever Investor-in-Residence Program for BLI women to inspire those from non-traditional investing backgrounds into having the confidence to become excellent investors. The inaugural class consists of professional athletes, including Four-Time Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, Three-Time Track & Field Olympian Medalist Lauryn Williams, Olympic Gold Medalist, Four-Time All-Star, and WNBA Champion Chelsea Gray, and 2021 WNBA Champion Lexie Brown.
The participants in this initial class will embark on an intensive 6-week program, learning from VC experts on topics ranging from generating deal flow and portfolio construction to post-investment support. Participants will take their investment thesis from ideology to fruition, and have access to invest a total of $100,000 into multiple startups. This first cohort focused on female professional athletes is a way to begin closing the gap between them and their male athlete counterparts, according to a press release.
“The gender pay gap between female professional athletes and their male counterparts continues to grow,” says Pilar Johnson, co-founder and managing partner of Debut Capital.
“The Debut Investor-In Residence Program hopes to reduce the gap by providing these female athletes a collaborative space to gain new learnings that can build generational wealth and inspire others.”
These celebrated athletes will not only bring their unique perspectives and passion to push for progress in changing the makeup of founders in the VC world but will also be founding members of the program who will help design the program for future cohorts.
“I am pumped to be the recipient of the resources that can be a true catalyst for change,” said Lauryn Williams, Four-Time Olympian.
“Money is not something talked about positively in my community. To be discussing next-level financial topics such as angel investing will give me the tools to have more productive conversations with people I encounter.”
Debut Capital is here to disrupt the VC world by providing capital and strategic guidance to BLI founders and ultimately building a more diverse VC ecosystem. Debut’s current portfolio includes Breakr, Loop, Squire, Somewhere Good, and more.