Morgan Stanley
  • Access & Opportunity Podcast
  • Sep 6, 2018

Addressing Silicon Valley’s “Leaky Tech Pipeline”

Hosted by Carla Harris
With Freada Kapor Klein, Founding Partner of Kapor Capital

Venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein is debunking the tech industry’s myth of meritocracy, one that she says often excludes women and multicultural entrepreneurs.

“Most people in the Silicon Valley tech ecosystem… believe that institutions are meritocracies,” says Freada Kapor Klein, a founding partner of Kapor Capital. “If you believe that self-serving nonsense then you believe that, if there's no diversity in your circles, it's because whoever's outside isn't good enough, and it's an incredibly dangerous and inaccurate belief system.”

In the season 1 finale of the Access & Opportunity podcast, Carla Harris talks to Kapor Klein about how her Oakland-based venture capital firm, which she co-founded with her husband, the computer visionary Mitchell Kapor, is breaking down the investment barriers for startups run by women and multicultural entrepreneurs. To date, 56% of Kapor Capital’s investments have gone to startups with a founder who is a woman or a person of color from an underrepresented background. “We’re often the first money in, and our investment has signaling value—that we believe in this entrepreneur, in this business model, and we’re going to help them succeed,” says Kapor Klein.

Taking it a step further, Kapor Capital has also invested in startups with a social justice angle that look to help underserved communities. One such venture—Pigeonly—helps families find affordable ways to keep in touch with incarcerated relatives. It’s all part of Kapor Klein’s evolving approach “to both identify leaks in the pipeline and to plug them.”

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