Speaking of new venture capital funds in Portland… Granted everything is pretty grim right now. And energy is hard to come by. Let alone optimism. So when there is a glimmer of something hopeful in the Portland startup community, that seems like something to celebrate. Like Portland’s Black Founders Matter fund making its first investment. In a Black founded Portland startup. And then that news making it into TechCrunch.
That’s what the fund’s first investment did. A Kids Book About, which published its first book on the topic of racism in October, helps solve a problem for all communities, he says. Black Founders Matter only invested $40,000, but that figure is more of a reflection of how much space was left in the round. [Marceau] Michel says [Jelani] Memory carved out that space for Black Founders Matter by turning down other checks. Beyond this investment, there are a number of other companies on the firm’s radar, but first, it’s a matter of getting the funds to invest.
“This whole experience of raising this venture fund and working in this space was an exercise in being patient and not forcing it before it was its time,” Michel says. “And now, it’s clearly time and the floodgates have opened. And we’re able to do it with integrity and authenticity. I’m not at a place where I need to convince people anymore. We’re able to have conversations with authority and not from a place of desperation. We’re able to be selective about who invests in our fund. We can be selective and that is a very good sign of the future of Black entrepreneurship.”
For the full story, read TechCrunch.
[Full disclosure: Black Founders Matter and A Kids Book About are both PIE companies. I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE. Also, applications for PIE are currently open. But they close on Sunday.]