SXSW 2024

The Friends & Family Round for Under-Represented Founders


You may be familiar with the Black funding epidemic (~1% of VC to Black founders), but did you know that the Friends & Family (F&F) round is the largest inhibitor to this gap?

‍Given the racial wealth gap, thousands of Black founders can’t access the F&F round ($23k), making it the largest inhibitor to the Black funding epidemic, where only ~1% of VC goes to Black founders (FifthStar Funds:

This session will address the importance of the F&F round for under-represented founders and propose solutions to addressing the racial wealth gap.

Other Resources / Information


  1. The liquid wealth gap between white and Black American families is 21.8x. The funding gap is 21.2x. This is no coincidence.
  2. When founders do not have access to the F&F round, it impacts the disparity of subsequent funding rounds, leaving Black founders behind.
  3. If founders can access the F&F round and matriculate through exits similar to white companies, we believe over $5.2B in Black wealth can be created.



Nicole McCarthy, Director Of Innovation & Venture Strategy, World Business Chicago

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Startups
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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