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Driving Impact with Diversity-Based Opportunity Funds

Zoom Webinar



We know that investors often look for patterns, referrals and pedigree to make the investment process efficient, safely fitting into established norms.

The unintended consequence is that brilliant founders without the right connections are often passed over. This expresses itself in many ways but often we see that LGBTQIA+, Black, Latinx, and Native American founders are largely left out of the VC ecosystem.

Today, companies are creating specific, application based, Opportunity Funds - their goals being inviting more underrepresented founders into the global ecosystem. This looks like a diverse Investment Committee that includes members from both inside and outside of the investment institution, the goal being to review at early stage investments alongside growth investments.

The result? Underestimated founders have access to direct capital.

Join StartOut Founders, Morrison & Foerster, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch as we discuss how investors set up these kinds of funds, what current programs look like, how to maintain these funds, and how to bring investors and entrepreneurs into this ecosystem.


Alexa Hall, Startup Program Manager - Google Cloud

Supporting Panelists:

Fredo Silva - Partner, Morrison & Foerster - Event Sponsor

Fredo Silva is one of the Partners of Morrison & Foerster. We are an international law firm with lawyers practicing throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe working with large businesses to secure their funds and support a diverse ecosystem.

Kimelyn Harris - SVP, ESG and Public Policy, Bank of America - Event Sponsor

Kimelyn Harris is an ESG Program Executive for the Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity initiative at Bank of America. In this role, she is responsible for executing programming to support the bank’s $1.25 billion, 5-year effort to advance economic opportunity, health care initiatives and racial equality, for people and communities of color. Kimelyn drives business planning and integration for this companywide initiative while also working to identify and build partnerships with organizations, institutions and community leaders.

Riana Lynn - CEO & Co-Founder, Journey Foods

Riana leads fast-growing software startup Journey Foods. The company is backed by top VCs in North America, Europe and Asia. Riana has served as a top consultant and VC to fortune 500 food and CPG companies. She's currently an angel investor and former Google Entrepreneur in Residence. She is one of just a few dozen black women that have raised more than a million dollars in venture funding. Riana has been featured in Forbes, MIT 35 under 35, USA Today, Fast Company, CNBC, Wired, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine and more.

A Chicago native and Austin-based that enjoys growing fruit trees, writing film scripts, and exploring black culinary and architectural heritage sites around the world. She currently sits on the board of AGLIFF, one of the country's largest annual and inclusive film fests.

Damola Ogundipe - CEO & Co-Founder, Civic Eagle + Advisor for Lunar Startups

Damola Ogundipe is the co-founder and CEO of Civic Eagle, a company building technology to make government policy tracking easier for people and organizations. Damola is a graduate of The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He’s a 2018 Camelback Fellow and 2017 Google for Startups Entrepreneur in Residence. Damola is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In his free time, he enjoys sports and documentaries.

Dan Vaughn - Senior Director/Associate General Counsel, M&A and Equity for PayPal