From left to right: Jackson Ward Collective co-founders Kelli Lemon, Rasheeda Creighton and Melody Short - Courtesy of Jackson Ward Collective - Story By Kaitlynn R. Copinger - June 07, 2021
While some progress has been made in diversifying Richmond's startup ecosystem, Black founders say they still lack access to a crucial piece of the puzzle - capital
"Now that the Richmond ecosystem has been talking about the challenges facing Black and other underrepresented founders for more than a year, what’s changed? And — perhaps more importantly — what work remains?"
"Funding: The Crucial Piece"
"...The Center for Innovative Technology, or CIT, launched the Virginia Founders Fund in 2018 and has since directed more than $3 million toward founder who are women, BIPOC and veterans, as well as those located outside of Northern Virginia.
There are aspirational, strategic and programmatic goals throughout the Fiscal Year 2022 operating plan that are dedicated to furthering our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts - especially in light of the national conversation about systematic racism,” spokeswoman Sara Poole
Last fall, CIT Gap Funds hosted a roundtable event to bring together BIPOC founders to discuss barriers to forming and funding minority-led startups, a discussion that is expected to yield changes going forward..."
CIT Press 2020-2021