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Closing the Equity Gap: Creating Wealth and Fostering Justice in Startup Investing

Closing the Equity Gap: Creating Wealth and Fostering Justice in Startup Investing

Current price: $32.00
Publication Date: March 14th, 2023
Publisher:
Harper Business
ISBN:
9780063268517
Pages:
272
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Description

A social activist and an entrepreneur remake the future of investing and business, offering a win-win road map for creating wealth and addressing inequalities by investing in groundbreaking tech companies that defy assumptions from Silicon Valley to Wall Street.

Companies backed by venture capital drive the U.S. economy, accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars in sales and profits. The problem is that most of the wealth created winds up enriching elites, while the businesses funded by venture capitalists widen economic inequality. Committed to doing things differently, tech venture capitalists Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor launched Kapor Capital to prove that investing in gap-closing startups—companies whose services or products close opportunity gaps for both communities of color and low-income communities—is good business. Over the past decade, they’ve broadened the definition of success to include profits and accountability for the impacts a business has on employees, communities, and the planet, helping to launch close to two hundred companies engaged in achieving social and economic justice while showing remarkable growth, with many valued in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

Like every VC firm, Kapor Capital has experienced high-profile blowups and total losses. But its investing principles have created a stunning new ecosystem of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors, all devising innovative, effective solutions to address the most pernicious problems afflicting many of America’s poorest communities. In Closing the Equity Gap, Freada and Mitch share their core belief that all companies must make a positive impact and that the obstacles entrepreneurs overcome in life are a far better predictor of long-term success than the schools they attend or investment dollars they raise from friends and family.

Using stories behind some of the most remarkable companies ever launched, they show that the standard investment model doesn’t work, how it can be fixed, and what the future could look like if more investors joined them.

About the Author

Freada Kapor Klein is an entrepreneur, an activist, and a pioneer in the field of organizational culture and diversity. She is the founder of SMASH, the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy, and cofounded the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, the first organization in the U.S. to address sexual harassment. She holds a PhD in social policy and research from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and is a member of the Obama Foundation Tech Policy Council, the UC Berkeley Board of Visitors, and a board observer of the air quality monitoring company Aclima.io.

Along with Mitch Kapor, Freada is a founding partner at Kapor Capital and cochair of the nonprofit Kapor Center in Oakland, California.

Mitch Kapor is a pioneer in the personal computing industry and an entrepreneur, an investor, and an advocate for social change. He founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, cofounded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation, creator of the Firefox web browser. He also serves on the board of SMASH.

Along with Freada Kapor Klein, Mitch is a founding partner at Kapor Capital and cochair of the nonprofit Kapor Center in Oakland, California.

Praise for Closing the Equity Gap: Creating Wealth and Fostering Justice in Startup Investing

"This essential read for investors and activists illustrates the many intersections between smart investing and economic and social justice. It is a roadmap for shifting the standard investment model to address issues such as income inequality and the climate crisis." — Al Gore, former Vice President, co-founder and Chairman, Generation Investment Management 

"In this inspiring call-to-action, Mitch and Freada highlight a remarkable group of founders who draw on lived experience to develop new businesses that close gaps in access, opportunity, and outcome for low-income communities. Their stories show the power and the urgency of investing in the next generation of leaders and prove that change is possible, even when it feels hard." — Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama

"This message is so necessary for the startup and investing worlds to hear and act on, for much of the same reasons I decided to join this effort. It’s also about empowering entrepreneurs to build businesses run by and for the benefit of those previously left out." — Serena Williams, Managing Partner, Serena Ventures

"Freada Klein and Mitch Kapor are vital leaders shining the light towards changing the world through technology, with the radically true idea that more opportunity and diversity lead to the best outcomes." — Garry Tan, CEO, Y Combinator

"This playbook is not only for the technology and the VC community, but also for leaders in all industries, who want to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color." — Carla A. Harris, Senior Client Advisor, Morgan Stanley, author of Lead To Win

"Mitch and Freada are Silicon Valley disrupters, but not with some new-fangled technology or business model. Instead, they ask founders, executives, and the industry the hard question: why don't companies look like the world they serve? They have been my partners in building a more inclusive, more human, and higher-performing company." — Jeff Lawson, co-founder and CEO, Twilio

"This inspiring and forward-thinking book makes an ironclad case for the powerful financial and social returns we can achieve by building more robust pathways to opportunity for all people." — Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

"This is not just the story of how one firm made investments to lift up a new generation of leaders; it is a blueprint for how all of us can invest in people who, in turn, can change the world." — Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University