Access to growth capital is a perennial stumbling block for entrepreneurs, but if you're also a minority, the issue often becomes acute. Two new initiatives seek to remedy the problem.
Show Me the Money Diversity Venture Capital Conference, launched in March in New York City, goes to Washington, DC, September 12 to 14 and possibly on to Los Angeles in early December. It's expected to become an annual event.
Sponsored by The KIP Business Report newspaper and various co-sponsors, the conference features presentations from minority CEOs as well as panels on topics such as deal-making and IPOs, both direct public offerings or private placements. There is also a "deal room" where pre-screened entrepreneurs can make 20-minute presentations to angel and venture investors as well as some traditional lenders.
The second initiative is a venture capital fund that is part of an alliance between the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and BankOne. Along with BankOne's $10 million commitment, the fund has garnered another $140 million in soft commitments. It plans to invest in Latino firms nationwide, and organizers project they'll be ready to begin accepting proposals by the first quarter of 2001.