Brown Venture Group, a venture capital firm focused exclusively on Black, Latinx and Indigenous emerging tech startups, will receive an investment of up to $10 million from Best Buy. The fund’s goal is to help break down systemic barriers for BIPOC entrepreneurs, including lack of access to capital. Black and Latinx founders represented only 2.6% of funding in 2020.
Best Buy’s support is part of its June 2020 pledge to “do better” in terms of inclusivity and diversity. Actions have included the retailer providing $44 million to expand college prep and career activities for BIPOC students and a commitment to spend at least $1.2 billion with BIPOC and diverse businesses through 2025, as well as increasing diversity within its own workforce.
Brown Venture Group, founded in 2018 with the goal of raising $50 million to invest in entrepreneurs of color, shares a home town of Minneapolis with Best Buy. In addition to the retailer’s monetary investment, the two companies plan to collaborate on creating a stronger community of diverse suppliers as well as launching an entrepreneurial partnership program at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers.
“The partnership with Best Buy represents an important shift in our business community, from doing things for communities of Color to investing and executing with communities of Color in longer-term collaborative business relationships,” said Brown Venture Group Co-founder and Managing Partner Dr. Paul Campbell in a statement.
“Through partnerships like this, we believe we can begin to do this by helping to build a stronger, more vibrant community of diverse innovators in the tech industry, some of whom we hope will become partners of Best Buy in the future,” said Best Buy CEO Corie Barry in a statement.