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Intel to invest $125M in women, minority entrepreneurs

Brian Krzanich

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas

Intel is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to diversifying the tech industry.

The chipmaker announced on Tuesday a record-setting $125 million venture fund to invest in high-growth companies run by women and underrepresented minorities.

Dubbed the Intel Capital Diversity Fund, the money is part of a larger initiative to encourage diversity at Intel and in the tech industry as a whole.

“Female and minority entrepreneurship in the technology industry does not reflect the diversity of the United States,” Intel said in a statement.

“With this new fund, Intel Capital is leading the way in investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to develop innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public.”

In January, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a $300 million diversity initiative, with a a goal to achieve full representation of women and minorities in Intel’s U.S. workforce by 2020. As a part of that effort, the company committed money to sponsor science and technology education in K-12 and universities, primarily for girls and minorities.

Until now, Intel’s diversity efforts have mainly focused on increasing the amount of qualified female and minority candidates.

The move comes as more companies, including Apple and Salesforce.com, work to boost the presence of women and minorities in technology-specific jobs. In March, Apple said that it would donate more than $50 million to organizations that focus on diversity and inclusion in tech.

For its part, Salesforce introduced its Women’s Surge initiative, which aims to make sure that women make up at least 30 percent of the attendees at any meeting. That move came after the company disclosed that men accounted for 85 percent of its tech-specific leadership roles.

Only 15 percent of venture capital-funded companies in the U.S. have a woman on the executive team, and companies with a woman CEO receive only 3 percent of total venture capital dollars, Intel said, citing a recent Babson College report.

On the minority front, less than 1 percent of the founders of Silicon Valley companies are African American or Latino, while nearly 100 percent of funded founders are white or Asian, according to industry research.

Original article by Karma Allen on http://www.cnbc.com/

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