Kimmy Paluch, the founder of Beta Boom, a venture academy that helps startups get funding, joined Yahoo Finance to discuss the disparities in funding women- and minority-owned and what her company is doing to help.
Paluch tells Yahoo Finance that Black women are starting businesses at the fastest clip of any racial group. However, they are receiving less than half a percent of venture capital dollars. The Beta Boom founder says that the company is looking to level the playing field. She says this is why it primarily invests in startup founders who are women, people of color, and other overlooked groups.
“What makes us different is we invest a lot more human capital into these companies because writing the check is just not enough. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to tear down access gaps that these founders face. So we invest, and we also provide them with a team of product marketing sales and coaches that work alongside them to help them to be more successful and to really influence those outcomes,” she said.
Paluch says that despite recent promises for social justice and racial reform, more has to be done to tackle systemic racism in the business world.
“I think we’re seeing luckily a big movement and outcry that we need to start being more equitable … Unfortunately, I think we’re seeing a lot of lip service in this area. So many that have come out and said that they’re going to start doing things … But the fact is we need systemic reform,” she said.
“This is institutionalized racism and other biases that we’re seeing. And so in order for us to really see change in this space, I think we need to be looking at how we make these investments. Where are we getting our deal flow? A lot of times we talk about getting the warm introduction, but if you look at the groups that have been marginalized, they’re cut out of those networks.”
“I think we’re beginning to see glimmers of hope, and with everything with that crisis, we have opportunities that drive the conversation. And now I’m looking for real action because there are many of us making changes. And I think we’d love to see much more capital and real action move toward actually moving the needle.”
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.