Charles Hudson is the head of $15 million venture firm known as Precursor Ventures. Unlike many venture capitalists, Hudson is an African American looking to bring more diversity into the industry. According to Hudson, the firm has made about 50 investments with 31% going to firms with a woman founder, 11% to those with a black founder, and 7% to those with a Hispanic or Latino founder.
While Hudson does promote diversity in the ranks of the technology sector, he understands that being a venture capitalist is about making money. With dual goals, Hudson has found a unique way to connect with potential funding organizations. Precursor has a bit of an open market philosophy in that they accept emails, phone calls, and other connecting points from entrepreneurs seeking funding. Because of this open philosophy, they’ve already been able to fund alternative businesses including one from Florida and another from Baltimore, two locations not known for garnering venture capital financing.
And that is the essence of diversity. Diversity is not about replacing opportunities for one person and giving it to another but rather opening up opportunities for more business owners. Not every startup has the money or know how to move to Silicon Valley or New York and win financing dollars. Unfortunately, many of those same people are from underrepresented groups. To truly add diversity, including race, gender, and socioeconomic status, venture capital firms must expand their reach to include all of America and not just the 1% of 1% that they cover.
Great ideas don’t always come from the west or east coast. Look at Google, founded by a couple of guys from Michigan. Great ideas exist, but until funding opportunities are increased, they are hard to achieve.