A new organization in Milwaukee is trying to connect business founders of color to funding. The mission of VC MKE is to create opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurial founders to connect with interested venture capitalists.
The organization’s first event is scheduled for June 28 and June 29 in conjunction with Summerfest Tech Week in Milwaukee.
“Founders in the region already find it difficult to connect with VCs in general, (and) when you look at founders of color, this is an even greater problem,” said Que El-Amin, co-founder of VC MKE. “This event is a start at trying to solve that discrepancy.”
A 2020 Kauffman Fellow report showed that diverse startup teams have trouble initially gaining investments, but once they do, they raise more capital and have better financial outcomes by 30% when compared to non-diverse startups.
“VC MKE will provide opportunities for founders of color to gain valuable experience networking and connecting with VCs,” said Tarik Moody of 88Nine RadioMilwaukee, co-founder of VC MKE. “We are excited to host this event in Milwaukee along with our friends at Summerfest Tech.”
Dana Guthrie, managing partner at VC firm Gateway Capital, is also a co-founder of VC MKE. Others involved in the organization include Ed Javier, entrepreneurship program director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and Maggie Fernandes, software engineer manager at MacGregor Partners.