Join this congressional briefing on alternative funding models - Technical.ly DC

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May 16, 2016 11:21 am

Join this congressional briefing on alternative funding models

“There has to be interesting and innovative ways to support startups,” organizer Lauren DeLisa Coleman said.

The Capitol.

(Photo by Flickr user Adam Fagen, used under a Creative Commons license)

When it comes to conversations about diversity in tech, many center on the issue of representation. And yes, representation is a big and important issue. But there’s another conversation to be had when we’re discussing accessibility and inclusion, and it boils down to one word: money.

This is the conversation the Vinetta Project is participating in as it holds pitch and networking events geared specifically toward female founders. Because, as we wrote in a profile on the Project back in February, while it’s comforting to believe that the world of venture funding is a meritocracy, that’s just not the case.

Women and people of color don’t do as well raising money through traditional venture capital models. But why? It’s hard to believe these minority groups have less worthy ideas — so perhaps the issue lies in the mode of funding itself.

This is the conversation Lauren DeLisa Coleman, a digi-cultural trend analyst and author from New York, wants to have. And so she’s organized a May 25 congressional briefing around the subject.

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“We talk a lot about hiring and representation in tech, but not enough about the money part,” DeLisa Coleman told Technical.ly. “But new ways of funding are important for increasing diversity.”

The upcoming congressional briefing will discuss the current state of funding for tech startups, and look at ways to level the funding playing field. A second strain of conversation will focus in on what role policy makers can or should play in making these changes.

DeLisa Coleman says the goal of the event is essentially to have an in depth conversation with people who look at the issue of startup funding and diversity from a bunch of different perspectives. To that end, voices from the national economic council at the White House, Microsoft, the Wharton School of Business, Silicon Harlem and more will be present.

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