Diversity at TinySeed and What We’re Doing Differently Next Time

 

We’ve learned a lot while running our first application process these past five months, and one of the hardest lessons was the difficulty in building a diverse cohort of founders. We spent a lot of time discussing how to include underrepresented founders in the process, and we focused recruiting and interviewing efforts on making that a reality.

We did not succeed with that goal. The final demographics of our applicant pool, and hence our batch, does not match our hopes, and it is a challenge we’re going to focus on more aggressively moving forward.

We are incredibly proud of the companies in our first batch — it’s a strong group of founders with incredible growth prospects. But if we want to create a path to entrepreneurship that will appeal more widely than traditional VC-funding, then we need to be able to try approaches that reach beyond that of traditional VCs.

We are making changes. This includes updating our application process by bringing in outside counsel to find out what information we can and should be asking for to help bring to the forefront who is applying; being more proactive in reaching out to and being active in underrepresented communities; and identifying and removing bias from the process.

We will do better. It’s not going to be easy, but we believe it’s worth doing.


 
Tracy Osborn