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 Capitalâ€™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:
– Â Establish diversity and inclusion goals that are appropriate for the companyâ€™s early funding stage, employee size, customer base, and core businesses and report on diversity and inclusion in quarterly investor updates.
– Â Invest in tools, training programs, and/or resources that assist with mitigating bias in recruiting, hiring, and employment.
– Â Organize volunteer opportunities for employees to engage with underrepresented communities, especially those that reflect the companyâ€™s customer base.
– Â Participate in diversity and inclusion sessions to learn about what works and what doesnâ€™t in sessions hosted by Kapor Capital, which will also be available for virtual participation when needed.
â€œWe hope that the Foundersâ€™ Commitment will inspire many similar initiatives in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the tech ecosystem,â€ said Mitch Kapor, founder and partner at Kapor Capital. â€œWhen we embrace the disruptive, innovative potential tech has for all communities, and when we hold ourselves accountable to that potential, great things can happen.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve seen overwhelming interest from our current portfolio companies in improving diversity and inclusion,â€ said Mandela Schumacher-Hodge, portfolio services director at Kapor Capital. â€œWith the Foundersâ€™ Commitment, we are providing structure and resources for our companies to be successful in making their workforce more reflective of America.â€
â€œBitly values the importance of diversity and inclusion within our company,â€ said Susan Riskin, VP of human resources at Bitly. â€œWe 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 weâ€™re doing the right thing for our business. We truly believe that Kapor Capital Foundersâ€™ 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.â€
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.Â Last year, the firm participated in President Obamaâ€™s Demo Day, a celebration of the important role entrepreneurship plays in Americaâ€™s economy.