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If you missed the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco this September, you missed the novel energy digitalundivided sparked during the weeklong event. Drawing the Latina and Black women's entrepreneurial community together in a space filled with laughter, information — and a photobooth — digitalundivided’s conference activation was unlike any other at the conference.
digitalundivided also came prepared to share a powerful call to action with investors and Latina and Black women founders. Leading this call was digitalundivided’s interim CEO Brittany S. Hale, who challenged venture capitalists to embrace the lore of Latina and Black women entrepreneurs and to all Latina and Black women founders to support each other’s journeys — and stories — as they rise to the top.
Check out Hale’s top 4 most inspirational takeaways from TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. We guarantee you’ll leave inspired and ready to own your work — and worth.
We’re Here To Push for Investment Accountability
As of last year, Latina and Black women combined make up zero point eight five percent of venture capital funding. For the sake of sharing in the media, we say combined these groups make up less than one percent of venture capital funding. But for the point of storytelling, for the sake of this moment, I want to go a bit more granular and see if you can remember the more specific number. Zero point eight five percent.
The data that we’re mining with Project Diane and the other research we produce at digitalundivided implies that most of the institutions that do not serve us may be — in practice — a reflection of their lack of relevance to founder success. Maybe if venture capital cannot keep up with visionary women of color, they may prove themselves obsolete.
I am here to continue the push for VC accountability. We are overdue for the level of venture capital funding that would make it so that the data does not merely underline that race and gender as the determinant of funding, and not the founder’s track record, vision and proof of concept.
Let’s Dive Past Celebrity Latina and Black Women Entrepreneurs
A lot of people start and stop at Oprah or Serena or Selena or Jessica Alba.
I get to dive deeper and push creativity further because my influences include Daniela Pierson and Iman Abuzeid and Sandra Velasquez and Elise Smith.
I live in the light of their lore.
And if I can get just one other person in this audience to also do so, I will crack at the expectations any woman of color walks into when pitching a VC. I will crack away at the rhythm of placing someone’s race and gender ahead of their concept — their potential market capture — their company’s valuation.
It’s Time to Invest In The Lore of Latina and Black Women Founders
digitalundivided’s work is in powering the lore of women of color who are transforming entrepreneurship. We are about spreading the news of what today’s brilliant founder looks like.
How expansive our thinking would be — how transformative our thinking would be — if we allowed ourselves to fall into the lore of Latina and Black women founders, regardless of our own identities.
I am citing trends that will impact all of us.
I am mining visionary leadership that will better power how we work.
I am provoking our collective imagination of the great American visionary.
I am nudging at uplifting some women who will be different from how we have been taught to imagine power and brilliance.
A great American visionary who may be a little louder, or a little softer, or a little heavier, or a lot more colorful, a lot less cookie cutter in wardrobe and yes, just very abstract from what we have fantasized–idealized–across generations.
I am uplifting a set of wonderkinds who are just as grandiose and quirky and demanding in their efforts…and at the same time, wonderkinds of industry who are just different from what we have been prepared for. We are ready for them; we just need to better tap into their lore.
Join Us As We Spread The Lore
We lead a community of women running companies with significantly lower fail rates than those led by people visually allude to visions of the next Elon Musk. Women whose lore has yet to be spread.
We are well known for our groundbreaking research, especially Project Diane.
We also run several programs across the United States to expand access to founder-centric training programs, strategic partnerships, and a vibrant founder community.
They include Big, Breakthrough, Do You, The New C-Suite, and Start.