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Andrea Hoffman’s Culture Shift Labs is hosting an exclusive event next month in New York City focused on black Venture Capitalists. The two-day summit will bring together more than 125 top-notch VC’s, accredited investors, and corporate decision-makers at various locations in Silicon Alley.

Now in its eighth year, the upcoming Culture Shifting Weekend NYC will make a pivot to focus on producing the nation’s largest gathering of Black capitalists. The aim is to increase investment opportunities for this fast-growing ecosystem.

“We’re pleased to produce this important gathering of Black venture capitalists, said Andrea Hoffman, founder and CEO of management consulting firm Culture Shift Labs, which is spearheading the event. “Given the current political climate and challenges to the American ideal of equality for all, this convening is timely, critical and actionable.

“Most companies, foundations, fund of funds, and individual investors aren’t aware that these venture capitalists exist, let alone that there are 100 of them already, so the New York Culture Shifting Weekend is a way to provide an unprecedented opportunity for all parties to meet and make deals.”

Well-established VC’s will be speaking at the invite-only event, November 3 to 4, 2017, including Troy Carter, CEO of Atom Factory and Cross Culture Ventures; Aaron Holiday, of 645 Ventures and Michael Carter, Co-Head & Managing Director of Technology Investment Banking at RBC Capital Markets and Shauntel Poulson of Reach Capital.

Others heavyweights in this coveted line-up comprise of William Crowder, 42 Venture Partners; Richard Kerby, formerly with Venrock; Monique Woodward, 500 Startups; Vernon Lee, Jr., Brightwood Management Partners; Erik Moore, Base Ventures, and Denmark West of Connectivity Capital Partners.

A “Lightning Talk” luncheon will take place on November 3rd with 15 venture capitalists and then a deal-making breakfast on November 4th will follow. There will be special guests at both events including an institutional investor panel and corporate venture panel to include people from Surdna Foundaiton. Verizon Ventures and Hearst Ventures.

Some of the VCs scheduled to speak at next month’s Culture Shifting Weekend NYC

“SAP understands the importance of matching talent with opportunity for women and other underrepresented minority groups, and depends on diverse thought, perspectives, and experiences to fuel innovation,” said Danny Allen, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, SAP. “We are honored to host Culture Shifting Weekend in New York City, as it will bring together accomplished leaders in tech and venture capital.”

Sponsors include Royal Bank of Canada, Boeing, Google, Brocade, GE Ventures, Square 1 Bank, The Williams Capital Group, Fenwick & West, and Infor. UrbanGeekz is the official media sponsor and CEO Kunbi Tinuoye will fly out to NYC to cover this crucial event.

The event’s focus on Black VCs comes on the heels of the recently published Forbes 2017 Midas List of the world’s 100 “smartest” venture capitalists. The list comprises of just five women and not one single black investor.

The dearth of diversity among decision makers plays a major role in who gets funded. Indeed, data clearly shows women and untapped founders of color oftentimes struggle to access venture capital funds to help their startups scale and grow.

“Most companies, foundations, fund of funds, and individual investors aren’t aware that these venture capitalists exist, let alone that there are 100 of them already, so the New York Culture Shifting Weekend is a way to provide an unprecedented opportunity for all parties to meet and make deals.”

Entrepreneur Matt Joseph , CEO of SurgeryOS, an operating system that allows surgeons to search through an index of medical inventory has called race the elephant in the room in a series of tweets pointing to “pattern matching.”

Pattern matching is when investors are more likely to invest in entrepreneurs that are similar to the ones that have already been successful. Because media coverage of successful black companies has been limited, investors also question their odds of success.

And when it comes to African-American women, this particular demographic is severely underfunded. For example, research from the Project Diane by digital undivided found that black women led startups on average raise $36,000 compared to the average of $1.3 million raised for all startups–led by mostly white, male founders who received over 97 percent of all VC funding.

“If companies and investors want to work with and provide capital to some of the best and brightest VCs, who also happens to be Black, then they need to expand their circles of influence,” adds Hoffman.

The upcoming NYC gathering is a part of the Culture Shifting Weekend, which is the only bi-coastal, bi-annual event of its kind. The aim is to unite visionaries, technologists, and social impact leaders of color and those who care about growth and innovation through diversity and inclusion.

Main Image: Attendees at Culture Shifting Weekend in Silicon Valley 2017 (photo courtesy: Culture Shift Labs)

 

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