Halogen Ventures, Jesse Draper’s venture capital fund focused on early stage consumer technology startups with a female in the founding team, is doubling down on their commitment to improve diversity in technology with the launch of The Halogen Fellowship in Venture Capital. Along with Silicon Valley Bank and Amazon Web Services, the Halogen Fellowship will focus on gender dynamics and address the lack of equity, diversity and funding in Venture Capital.
Draper launched Halogen VC in 2015 after recognizing startups with women founders were a highly undervalued investment opportunity. Since then, Halogen has invested in over 60+ female founded companies including The Skimm (with GV), Glamsquad (with SoftBank), Hopskipdrive (with Greycroft), ThisisL. (acquired by P&G), and Eloquii (acquired by Walmart).
With the Halogen Fellowship in Venture Capital, Draper and her team are expanding their mandate to support the next generation of not just entrepreneurs, but investors as well.
“We have already proven that investing in women is not an impact play, it’s smart business,” said Jesse Draper, Founding Partner of Halogen VC. “As we look at the Venture Capital landscape in 2020 and beyond, we are excited about the opportunity to prove out that diversity breeds success; that is diversity of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, and life experiences. With over 40% of our female founded portfolio companies led by BIPOC founders, we know this to be true. We look forward to teaching the next generations to look at investing through a diverse lens.”
Like the fund, the Halogen Fellowship in Venture Capital has a focus on gender dynamics. The program aims to train exceptional undergraduate students in venture capital and to create more opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to become investors.
Ten fellows have been selected from across the country for the virtual fellowships, from UCLA, to Harvard, to Notre Dame. The program includes introductory coursework on all aspects of venture capital including guest lectures from key figures at Silicon Valley Bank and Amazon Web Services.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get real mentorship and exposure to early stage venture and help change the face of this industry,” said Sarah Peluso, Vice President of Consumer Tech Banking from Silicon Valley Bank. “We are thrilled to work alongside Halogen to support the next generation and create a new pipeline for a more equitable and diverse industry.”
The venture capital ecosystem lacks diversity today. Of US-based VCs, Deloitte estimates 14% of investment partners are women and just 3% of investment partners are black (compared to 80% white).
As an apprentice-based business, venture has traditionally been a tough industry to crack into. The Halogen Fellowship in Venture Capital aims to give more young people that entry level experience to kick off exceptional careers in venture capital and the world of technology startups. Fellows remotely shadow Halogen team members to get day-in-the-life experience in venture. Each fellow is responsible for identifying a key consumer trend and related investment opportunities, as well as producing an independent research study on behalf of a Halogen portfolio company.
To participate in future fellowships, applicants are encouraged to apply at HalogenVC.com.