D&I Series Pt 2: Meet our partners
In this article, we launch Part 2 in our D&I series, introducing our partners for 2021. We have joined forces with leading organisations across the globe to support and facilitate this journey as we learn and explore best practices.
A crucial step in our D&I journey is learning from others who are paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem. For 2021, we have joined forces with leading organisations across the globe to support and facilitate this journey as we learn and explore best practices.
Reviewing our processes
Diversity VC is a non-profit partnership promoting diversity in Venture Capital. They work with entrepreneurs, investors, and universities in order to create an industry that is free from bias. At LEGO Ventures, we’re currently participating in their Diversity VC Standard program, a Diversity VC and Diversio initiative to promote best D&I practices in the VC ecosystem. We are thrilled to announce that we have recently been Certified at a Level 1 Standard, and will continue to work with Diversity VC over the coming months to improve on our current practices and implement their recommendations. Read more about the process here.
Building a diverse ecosystem
Unconventional Ventures is an early-stage VC investing in impact companies in the pre-seed and seed stage built by underrepresented founders identifying as women, POC, and/or LGTBQ+. This is our second year partnering with UV; last year we worked with them through supporting their initiatives, sponsoring their report ‘Nordic Startup Funding – Through the Lens of Gender Diversity’ and participated in several of their panel series.
UV was founded by Thea Messel after being inspired by her own experience in the startup space. In an interview with us last year, Thea reflected that ‘many biases affect female founders, with glaring effects, particularly when it comes to gender and ethnicity’– read in full here.
BLCK VC is an organization that equips Black investors with the access, education, and community they need to accelerate their careers in venture capital. They aim to drive the industry forward by pushing venture capital firms to become more inclusive in their hiring, deal flow, and portfolios.
Venture firms in the United States invested over $130 billion annually, however, Black investors have systematically been excluded from mobilizing this capital. Today, only 3% of venture capital investors are Black; additionally, only 2% of partners–individuals that make investment decisions–at venture firms are Black.
BLCK VC’s mission is to transform venture capital into an inclusive engine for change and generational wealth creation by shifting the demographics of the venture industry to mirror the diversity of the United States. In the short term, they strive to double the percentage of Black investors and Black partners in venture capital to 6% and 4%, respectively, by 2024.
Diversifying our portfolio
Your Startup, Your Story (YSYS) is a startup community for people with shared values interested in launching a startup, joining a team or building a diverse and inclusive culture. YSYS designs and delivers programmes to support diverse talent to launch startups, develop new skills and kickstart their careers, through their flagship initiatives FoundersDoor and TalentDoor. With each programme, they partner with organisations committed to investing and hiring diverse talent and provide training to them on how to build an inclusive culture.
Since 2017 YSYS has provided over 10,000 individuals with access to opportunities in tech – with an aim to reach 100,000 diverse individuals by 2023. Read YSYS’ recent blog post announcing our partnership here and their Impact Report 2019-2020 here.
Code Coven is the first global games industry accelerator for underrepresented talent. Their mission is to elevate marginalised voices within the creative technology and games industries at all levels both off and on screen. In 2020 alone, Code Coven supported over 100 underrepresented game developers, over 70% of whom identify as female and over 70% of whom identify as POC (People of Colour). Through online courses, community building, funds, accelerators and events, Code Coven is working to turn the tide and foster a more inclusive and ethical games industry.
Stay tuned for more updates!
We’re incredibly excited to be working with these organisations, and are committed to listening and growing through their guidance. We’ll continue to share learnings on our blog in pursuit of improving the ongoing practices within our team, portfolio, and broader industry.