There’s a new venture capital firm in town

It’s always nice to see more capital focused on helping entrepreneurs around here. So it was a bright spot in all of this weirdness to see that there was a new venture fund in town. And it was an even brighter spot to see that the Oregon Growth Board had committed $350,000 to the new fund. Meet Include Venture Group.

And while that name may be new to folks, the name of the first fund for the organization will be very familiar. It’s the Black Founders Matter Fund I.

Recently founded by Himalaya Rao-Potlapally and Marceau Michel, Include Venture Group is launching a series of Venture Capital funds seeking to invest mainly in underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs in Oregon. BFM’s mission is to demonstrate — through capital returns — the ability of Black and minority entrepreneurs to help to solve societal problems through their innovative and differently-lived perspective. The fund aims to add diversity into a largely non-diverse funding ecosystem.

“This is a big step forward for our Fund and our state,” said Marceau Michel, co-founder of Include Venture Group, in a press release. “Partnering with OGB has been a goal since the inception of our Fund. We appreciate their confidence in myself and Himalaya, but also confidence in the viability of investing in Black and underserved entrepreneurs. As Oregon continues to create more economic opportunities for all — especially those historically left behind — this investment in our Fund encourages us for what the future holds. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with OGB.”

For more information, please see the press release from Business Oregon.

(Hat tip Juan Barraza)

[Full disclosure: Marceau is an alum of PIE and an active mentor. I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE.]