Raising A VC Fund for Diverse Managing Partners

September 1, 2021 2:39 pm
Written by: StartOut

StartOut, Level Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank explore what it is like to raise and manage a fund as an underrepresented managing partner.

In a recent digital event, we explored what it is like to raise and manage a fund as an underrepresented managing partner, in a context where we see more underrepresented fund managers emerging across the US to lead investments in often overlooked geographies, founder groups, and ideas. The discussion was an opportunity to hear from both fund managers and Limited Partners (LPs) and to deep dive into LP management, fund structure, best practices, and thesis development.

We also got a chance to look into the idiosyncrasies of raising a fund as an “outsider” and what steps you can take to gain traction. Our exciting panel consisted of McKeever (Mac) Conwell, II, Managing Partner of Rarebreed Ventures; Kelli (Trent) Fontaine, Partner at Cendana Capital; Charles Hudson, Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures; and Daniel Dehrey, Managing Director – Emerging Managers of Silicon Valley Bank, and moderated by Ian Foley of Level Ventures.

A total of 230 professionals registered for the event. 120 attendees joined the online event, representing a broad cross section of investors from different sectors, specializations and levels of experience as well as aspiring fund managers with diverse backgrounds (investment professionals, startup founders, etc.).

Of this group, 48 individuals answered live polling questions during the conversation. The following insights and graphs were taken from the panelists’ commentary and live polling results from the 48 participants.

Read Full Report Here

In recent years, the presence of emerging fund managers has grown exponentially due to economic and technological advancements. Specific programs to accelerate diversity and representation are slowly catching up and there is still work to be done to level the playing field. Without this leveling, emerging fund managers cannot as easily connect the right LPs for the fund they are raising, knowing that PMF discovery will take even longer for diverse fund managers due to a perceived lack of reference-ability or shared networks. This and the increasing requirement of pitching a uniquely different value proposition in a highly crowded space presents many barriers to success for fund managers with diverse backgrounds. We encourage first-time fund managers to investigate building their network, expanding those connections, and showcasing your track record via rolling funds, angel syndicates, etc.

Venture capital is a complex industry to navigate. We’re here to help.

Ian Foley, Venture Partner | ian@level.ventures Level Ventures is a VC firm with a unique platform to support investment managers through capital raises and access to a curated network of resources to help investors build an independent track record, create an investment thesis and launch their own fund.

Daniel Dehrey, Managing Director – Emerging Managers | DDehrey@svb.com For 35 years, SVB Financial Group and its subsidiaries have helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB Financial Group’s businesses, including Silicon Valley Bank, offer commercial, investment and private banking, asset management, private wealth management, brokerage and investment services and funds management services to companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity and venture capital, and premium wine industries.

Sarah Burgaud, Director of Programs & Partnerships | sarah.burgaud@startout.org StartOut is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that focuses on supporting LGBTQ+ startup founders. Our mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and also to amplify their stories, ultimately to drive the economic empowerment of the Queer community. Over the past 10 years, we have built a community of 17,000 members and we support 300+ entrepreneurs every year.